If you or someone you know is vision impaired, you know how difficult it can be to do something as simple as check the time. Eone Timepieces recently developed a universal timepiece to address this issue that will likely change the way watches are designed for the blind.
The new timepiece is called The Bradley, which allows users to feel the time. The piece isn't only for the visually impaired -- it was intended for all persons from any walk of life to be able to tell the time when they aren't able to look at a watch (i.e. during a business meeting or in a dark movie theatre).
The body of The Bradley is made from titanium, making it durable, stylish, and easy to clean. It features 12 raised radiating lines around its dial, indicating hours and minutes. The hands of the clock are actually two magnetic ball bearings. Users can feel the time by feeling their locations for the hour and minute. Since the bearings are magnetic, if the user pushes them out of place, they simply spring back with a gentle shake of the wrist.
The band is available in two different materials: stainless-steel mesh and fabric-covered leather. The Bradley is powered by exacting Swiss quartz movement technology. It relies on the Renata 371 Button Cell watch battery, which lasts for years and is also water-resistant up to 50m. The body of the timepiece is 40 mm in diameter and 11.5m tall. Eone may be creating a smaller piece in the upcoming years, but there's been no formal word yet.
The idea for the timepiece came to be when Eone Founder Hyungsoo Kim realized all mainstream wristwatches and clocks required sight. The vision impaired previously had to rely upon talking watches and watches that allow users to feel the hands. The use of those watches, however, poses difficulties. Talking watches can be difficult to hear and are not ideal for certain settings, while touch watches have delicate hands that are easy to break.
The Bradley was named after Lt. Brad Snyder, who lost his sight after an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) exploded while he was serving in Afghanistan. Snyder said that he wouldn't allow the disability to limit him, and he hasn't. In 2012, he won one silver and two gold medals at the Paralympics in London.