The Bradley is a tactile timepiece aimed at the blind. But it looks nice enough that anyone would want it. It’s making no concessions to style in order to appeal to a vulnerable group.
It was invented by recent M.I.T. graduate Hyungsoo Kim, who came up with the idea after sitting next to a blind colleague in class (as he explained to the Boston Globe). The fellow student had a talking watch, but didn’t want to use it, in case he disrupted the seminar. Kim says he realized then there was need for wristwatch that you could refer to just by using your fingers.
The device has two ball bearings. One ball goes round the face, indicating the hour. Another goes round the side, showing the minute. By feeling the both together, wearers can quickly grasp the moment. Their reference points are raised markings at three, six, nine, and 12 o’clock. The clever bit is that, if the wearer pulls one of the balls out of place, a magnet will pull it back into sequence. All the wearer needs to do is give it a quick shake.
The Bradley takes its name from Brad Snyder, who lost his sight while serving with the Navy in Afghanistan. Snyder later went on to win three medals in the London Paralympics, as you can see in the video above
Kim, whose company is called Eone, was hoping to raise $40,000 from a Kickstarter campaign. But, as of writing, he’s already well past that. The quality of the titanium design, and the power of Snyder’s story, has obviously struck a chord.