2018 Innovation

DOT MINI. THE FIRST SMART MEDIA DEVICE FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

Short List
ClientDOT INCORPORATION
Category A04. Early-stage Technology
TitleDOT MINI. THE FIRST SMART MEDIA DEVICE FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED.
Product/ServiceDOT MINI
Entrant SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Munich, GERMANY
Idea Creation SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Munich, GERMANY
Idea Creation 2 SERVICEPLAN KOREA Seoul, SOUTH KOREA
Idea Creation 3 DOT INCORPORATION Seoul, SOUTH KOREA
Idea Creation 4 CLOUDANDCO Seoul, SOUTH KOREA
Production PAULUS.CO Seoul, SOUTH KOREA
Production 2 NEVEREST München, GERMANY
Credits
Name Company Position
Alexander Schill SERVICEPLAN GROUP Global Chief Creative Officer
Eric Ju Yoon Kim Dot Incorporation CEO
Jae-Seong Joo Dot Incorporation CDO
Ki Sung Dot Incorporation CTO
Ahrum Choi Dot Incorporation Senior PR Marketing Manager
Jimin Ryu Dot Incorporation Global Partnership Manager
YeongKyu Yoo cloudandco / Dot Incoroporation Creative Director / CCO
KiHwan Joo Dot Incorporation Designer
YoungWoo Choi cloudandco Designer
Nara Ok cloudandco Graphic Designer
Franz Roeppischer SERVICEPLAN GROUP Creative Innovation Director
Lorenz Langgartner SERVICEPLAN GROUP Creative Innovation Director
Saurabh Kakade SERVICEPLAN GROUP Art Director
Pedro Gropo SERVICEPLAN GROUP Art Director
Dennis Fritz SERVICEPLAN GROUP Senior Motion Designer
Hendrik Sommerfeld designstube.com Editor
Robert Csakvari Neverest Artist VFX & Animation
Julie Kang SERVICEPLAN KOREA CEO
Yoon Seo SERVICEPLAN KOREA SERVICEPLAN KOREA
Jihyun Seo SERVICEPLAN KOREA Art Director
Yujin Ko SERVICEPLAN KOREA Senior Account Manager
Yerim Kim SERVICEPLAN KOREA Account Executive
Bill Yom SERVICEPLAN KOREA Executive Creative Director
Kyungsin Kim Paulus Co. Ltd Producer
Dahoon Chung Paulus Co. Ltd Director
Yongsang Cho Paulus Co. Ltd DOP
Kwak Yechan Paulus Co. Ltd Assistant Producer
Sungjun Bang Paulus Co. Ltd Cinematographer
Gunyoung Oh Paulus Co. Ltd Cinematographer
Jungtaek Oh Paulus Co. Ltd Line Producer

Why is this work relevant for Innovation?

Only 3% of all text content is available in Braille, because the complex, context-sensitive translation is requires human understanding, which makes it not profitable for publishers. Dot Mini gives 285 million blind and visually impaired people worldwide access to any digital text for the first time. The main innovation is the Dot Translation Engine Software, which uses Machine Learning to understand context and translate any digital text content efficiently to Braille. The proven innovative (70 patents) actuator technology also reduces size, weight and cost by more than ten times compared to traditional devices.

Background

While we are all used to having access to almost any content, the situation is very different for the 285 million blind and visually impaired people worldwide: Only 3% of all digital text content is available in Braille, because material is expensive and translation requires human understanding, which makes it unprofitable for publishers in most cases. There is no alternative to Braille, especially when it comes to education: 90% of people who can’t read Braille are unemployed. In 2016, Dot Incorporation set out to give the visually impaired access to mobile communication with the first Braille smartwatch. Now, we are creating access to content, with Dot Mini: The first smart media device for the visually impaired. It makes any digital text content accessible through the innovative Dot Translation Engine based on AI.

Describe the idea

Braille translation is highly complex: Grade 2 Braille – the standard for longer text – relies heavily on contractions. This inevitably leads to ambiguity, where exact meaning depends on context and up to four consecutive rules to be followed for a single word. For advanced areas like sciences or music, there are whole new rulebooks. So far, even the best software requires additional human input. Dot Mini is the first device that can access any digital text content on its own. Because the innovative Dot Translation Engine, based on AI / Machine Learning, understands context and translates efficiently to Grade 2 Braille, which is on average 50% shorter. Dot Mini provides additional audio support, for even faster perception and multisensory applications. All in a device that’s multiple times smaller, more lightweight, less power consuming and cheaper than conventional ones with less functionality.

What were the key dates in the development process?

2013 Start Development Core Technology 2014 First Patent Granted 2016 Dot Mini Prototype 2017 Dot Translation Engine Development Dot Mini Closed Beta 2018 Dot Mini Launch First 1000 Dot Mini units delivered to Kenya and India together with South Korean development agency KOICA Latest Patent Granted

Describe the innovation/technology

The Dot Translation Engine can automatically convert any digital text file into Grade 2 Braille. Machine Learning depends largely on training. That’s why we strategically partner with big content platforms like Rakuten Kobo (global) and Yes24 (market leader in Japan) to use their huge content libraries (already more than 200,000 books), to continuously improve the Dot Translation Engine. The 16 Cell Active Braille Display is built with the innovative (70 patents) Dot Technology, uniquely based on magnetism, which reduces size, weight, power consumption and price by up to ten times. Dot Mini can access digital text files from online libraries and websites, local and network storage. Full audio support with speaker, headphones and microphone allows multisensory experiences like karaoke and even experiencing movies. Intuitive control elements including directional pad, select, menu and scroll buttons, as well as voice recognition, make interactive applications like text editing, bookmarks and notes, as well as calculation, coding and even games possible. Various interfaces: USB, Micro USB, Micro HDMI, SD Card, WiFi and Bluetooth. Comfortably portable: 158x108x18mm / 256g.

Describe the expectations/outcome

Feedback during ongoing closed beta phase and rollout of first 1000 units in Kenya and India confirm that Dot Mini is a life-changing device for the visually impaired. 200,000 books are already directly available through partnerships with big content platforms like Rakuten Kobo and Yes24. 40,000 units are pre-ordered for global launch in late 2018. First 1000 units are being delivered to India and Kenya through Korean national development agency KOICA.