Guide To Watches For Visually Impaired | Vital Tech

Watches

Last modified: 12th February 2019

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As with clocks, there are a number of different watches that can be used by blind and partially sighted people.

 

Mainstream products

Smart watches can be an excellent tool for blind and partially sighted people.  You can access a large range of functionality conveniently from the wrist… you can even use them to tell the time! You do need a smart phone to work with your smart watch.

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 then read out information as the user moves their finger over the display. Double tapping will instruct the watch to describe the time through vibrating signals.

The Samsung Gear 3 Smart-watch is also equipped with a good number of 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 a range of specialist watches and we have including links to some retailers under Useful links.  The solutions include easy to see watches, watches that offer the added functionality of enabling the recording of short audio reminders and a vibrating watch that can be attached to a keyring and emits a series of vibrations to denote the time in hours and minutes.

The Renaissance Multifunctional Tactile Wristwatch is more expensive but also reads out the time using vibrations (haptic feedback).  Staying at the high-end, the Bradley Timepiece is a stylish and aesthetically-pleasing tactile wristwatch.

Bradley Timepiece
Bradley Timepiece

 

Using your smartphone

Accessible mobile devices have built in screen readers to assist the use of their clock functions. You can also browse the App Store or Play Store for talking stopwatches.

 

Handy hints

Traditional watchmakers are increasingly entering the smart watch market so we expect many more options to become available with a range of features and prices.

 

Useful links

Some retailers of specialist watches…

The Talking Watch Shop

Lifemax Talking Memo Wristwatches

RNIB Shop

IC Vision