Indian student designs wristwatch for the blind


TAQAny country develops in the perfect sense if there is inclusive growth encompassing different segments of the society. While technology is growing at a rapid pace, its application is generally restricted to products catering to the needs of an exclusive community : one having no disabilities.

To make watches applicable for all, a student of National Institute of Design (NID) has developed a tactile wristwatch that will be especially meant for the blind. Suraj Patel, an undergraduate student of NID has created ‘Taq’, a watch that can tell time even in the dark.

Instead of the minute and hour hands, Taq offers a tactile surface, and uses electromagnets that help in avoiding errors caused by touching its surface. “The brief for the product was that it could be used by anyone and in situations where a regular wristwatch fails; for instance, if a blind person wanted to use it or if the user was in a dark room,” said Patel, who is in his final semester in product design.

It activates one electromagnet at a time which then attracts the ferrous pointer connected to the minute and hour disk and keeps them in place. There are steps on the surface of the watch that represent the minute and hour pointers. The inner one with the thinner step is the minute pointer while the outer one with the thicker step is the hour pointer. “Anyone can touch the surface and sense the angle between them. The time adjustment buttons are on the right side; which is the industry standard. So, even without looking at it and by simply touching it, one can know the time, regardless of darkness or the ability to see,” said Patel.

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