Hyungsoo Kim believes that all good design is inclusive not exclusive, so when he decided to make a watch for the visually impaired, he wanted to create a product that would equally appeal to those who could see. The Bradley is Kim’s first tactile watch to come out of his startup company Eone. Built with a simple mechanism of ball-bearings and magnets and sleekly designed, the Bradley is a timepiece that allows anyone to feel the time.
There is already a market of watches for the blind – they are either have an audible feature, which can be difficult to hear in noisy places or annoying in quiet ones, or have a removable case, that allow users to feel the hands of the watch but often end up breaking – but Kim’s tactile watch is the first that is completely unobtrusive and built to be touched. The watch-face has raised hour marks that can easily be felt as well as two ball bearings, one on the side that tells the hour and another on the front which indicates the minute. Importantly, the ball bearings are held in place by a magnet, so should a person feel the minute bearing too forcefully and push it, the magnet will return it to the correct time. Beneath the titanium face is a normal Swiss Quartz watch mechanism.
Kim doesn’t like to call his product a ‘watch’ because that implies the need for sight, he refers to the Bradely as a ‘timepiece.’ And although it was made with the blind in mind, Kim hopes it appeals to sighted consumers as well. Any time you want to check the time discreetly – while in a meeting or a dark movie theater – you can simply feel it without distracting anyone.
Currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter at $128, the Bradley (which was named after paralympic swimmer, Bradley Snyder, who was blinded by an IED in Afghanistan) is a wristwatch with truly universal appeal.
See how it works in the video demonstration below: