Guide To Watches For Visually Impaired | Vital Tech


Last modified: 19th February 2021

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A number of inclusively designed watches and smart watches come with features which blind and partially sighted people may find useful.


Mainstream products

A smart watch can be an excellent tool for blind and partially sighted people. You can conveniently access a large range of functionality from your wrist including the time. However, it is usually necessary to pair a smart watch with a smartphone.

The Apple Watch allows users to customise the visual display according to their particular needs or preferences. Triple-tapping the dial (digital crown) turns on Voiceover, which will read aloud information as the user moves their finger over the display. Double tapping the screen from standby will initiate a vibration sequence denoting the time.

The Samsung Gear 3 Smart-watch is also equipped with several accessibility features. The screen can be set as dark or grayscale and can be adjusted to display negative contrasting colours. Triple tapping the face allows the user to zoom in and magnify, while the Voice Assistant can be activated using a two-fingered triple-tap.


Specialist products

There are all sorts of specialist watches on the market. These include easy to see watches, tactile watches, a Braille smart watch  and some vibrating watches.

The Dot Watch Braille smart watch contains four cells of refreshable Braille which can display the time, as well as notifications from a smartphone such as messages or calendar alerts. The Renaissance Multifunctional Tactile Wristwatch and Sunu Band can both convey the time through vibrations. The Bradley Timepiece is a stylish and aesthetically-pleasing tactile wristwatch.

Bradley Timepiece
Bradley Timepiece


Using your smartphone

Smartphone screen readers can enable access to built-in clock, stopwatch and alarm functions. You can also browse the App Store or Play Store for stopwatch apps.


Handy hints

Traditional watchmakers are increasingly entering the smart watch market which should ultimately increase the range of accessible watches on offer.


Useful links

Some retailers selling specialist watches…

Dot Watch from VisionAid Technologies

The Talking Watch Shop

Lifemax Talking Atomic Watches

Computer Room Services


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