In the past, people who experience visual disabilities had two basic types of watches available to them. The watches included ones that speak to the individual, the other is the kind of watch that permits the user to touch the hands of the clock face. The drawbacks to these watches is, for talking watches, the inability to hear the watch in loud places. The drawback of touch watches is the potential to damage or break the analog hands during use.
The Bradley timepiece is a tactile watch for people who experience vision loss as well as people who are sighted. The timepiece gets around the issues mentioned by using raised hash marks and a pair of ball bearings that rotate to designate both hours and minutes. The timepiece allows most people, with or without vision loss, to check the time without the use of either a watch light or a voice-presented time of day. Instead, the person simply uses a finger to tell what time it is.
People who are sighted might also approve of the Bradley timepiece's elegant and simple design. The timepiece has a brushed titanium body and the buyer's choice of a stainless steel mesh or leather and fabric band in olive green, yellow, or silver-blue. The Bradley timepiece has precise Swiss Quartz movement controlling its functionality. The timepiece features ball bearings connected to magnets which provide watch movement underneath the face. The top ball bearing indicates minutes, while the one on the side indicates hours. If the person's fingers move the ball bearings while they check the time, the timepiece can be reset to the appropriate time with an easy shake of the wrist. The shake allows magnetic force to place the ball bearings back to their appropriate place.
The timepiece was created in collaboration with engineers, product designers and people with vision loss. It changes the way people interact with the timepieces created by EONE. A person should not have to, 'watch,' their timepiece in order to tell the time, which is why EONE calls the Bradley a, 'timepiece,' instead of a, 'watch.'
For two years, EONE has tested and prototyped different versions of the Bradley timepiece. Every iteration of the timepiece evolved from group interviews and co-design sessions with people from a number of different backgrounds. The idea for the Bradley came from Hyungsoo, who founded EONE. Hyungsoo found that all mainstream watches and clocks require sight, which makes most mainstream watches inconvenient or even impossible for people with visual forms of disabilities to use.
A Fashionable and Functional Timepiece
While designing and brainstorming the Bradley timepiece, the EONE team met with visually impaired users and were surprised to find that blind users were as concerned with the appearance of the timepiece as sighted members of the EONE team. Users were as interested in the timepiece's appearance as they were with how it worked. In nearly every meeting the first questions concerned:
Throughout the design process, EONE conferred with both visually-impaired users and users who were sighted. EONE did this to ensure the Bradley timepiece would be easy to read using touch while maintaining a modern asthetic. EONE believes in universal design, which is designing for extremes of disability and ability, in order to produce superior products and services. The Bradley was designed with everyone in mind and provides unique versatility and functionality.
Lt. Bradley Snider, the Inspiration for the Timepiece
The Bradley timepiece is named for Lt. Bradley Snyder. Early in the brainstorming process for the timepiece, EONE was introduced to Brad. He lost his sight completely due to an, 'Improvised Explosive Device,' or, 'IED,' as he served in Afghanistan in the position of bomb de-fuser. Brad resolved to continue his active lifestyle and competed in and won two gold medals and one silver medal in swimming at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
"I'm not going to let blindness build a wall around me." - Brad Snyder, Paralympics Gold Medalist
EONE states it seeks opportunities to co-design products such as the Bradley timepiece which are inclusive of everyone, whether they experience a form of disability or not. With a goal of not taking for granted anything people use and need each day, EONE hopes to diminish everyday obstacles for people with disabilities and under-represented users. The specifications of the watch include:
The designers and entrepreneurs at EONE believe very deeply in inclusive design. They seek opportunities to co-design products like the Bradley timepiece, which can be used by people despite their particular age, ability, or gender. For EONE, what this means is thinking outside of the box. They are not afraid to take risks and create superior products that function the way people need them to.
EONE and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)
For more than sixty years, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) has worked to make sure individuals with disabilities are included in every facet of society. UCP is very exited about EONE's timepieces and the effort to create an innovative and fashionable watch for people with vision impairments. UCP has partnered with EONE Timepieces to help promote crowd-funding and raise awareness about the challenges people with visual impairments deal with every day.
United Cerebral Palsy, along with their nearly one-hundred affiliates in America and around the world today, have a mission to advance the productivity, independence and full-citizenship of people with a variety of forms of disabilities by providing services and support to more than 176,000 children and adults every day. Greater than 65% of the people served by UCP experience forms of disabilities other than cerebral palsy such as:
The, 'Life Labs Initiative,' at United Cerebral Palsy is dedicated to the identification, development and support of ideas that will make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Through collaborations with individuals, communities and businesses, Life Labs works to bring innovative ideas to those who can use them or need them.
Questions About the Bradley Timepiece
People who are interested in the Bradley timepiece have asked if the ball bearings would fall out if the timepiece is shaken too hard, or from any violent movement of the person's wrist. EONE states the watch is made of titanium and the ball bearing remain secured inside the tracks. EONE also says the ball bearings will not come out, unless a person truly attempts to remove them using hard tools.
Others wanted to know how to clean the ball bearing tracks. EONE responded by stating they made the face of the timepiece out of titanium so a person can wash off any dirt with plain water and a Q-tip easily. The timepiece is water-resistant to fifty meters. The timepiece will not get scratch marks from non-metal materials when a user cleans the track.
People were also curious about the warranty on the Bradley timepiece. EONE has assured all of their backers that they will guarantee free returns, postage cost on them, within forty-five days of purchase for a full refund. EONE will also offer services for one year after a person busy the timepiece in case it breaks.
EONE says they will perform a complete inspection of returned Bradley timepieces if they are sent back. If the Bradley timepiece a person has received ends up being defective, EONE will either fix it at no additional cost to the person, or send the person a new one. EONE will also send the person an inspection report. The Bradley timepiece uses standard quartz movement, straps and batteries and people can also have it repaired at any regular watch store.
A watch for blind people
Tactile watch for blind shows time with ball bearings
On the ball: Eone debuts a tactile watch for the visually impaired
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