Cannes, France – I can read in the dark, can you? A thought provoking question that most of us immediately say to ourselves, “Of course not!” However, over 285 million people in the world experience reading in the dark daily. With only 1% of the books in the world translated into Braille, four students in 2014 set out to change the way the visually impaired population learns and receives information. And they won two Cannes Lions awards this week for best product design and most innovative technology.

The Dot smartwatch translates up to 104 sequences per minute (user adjustment options available) in a sleek, user friendly design that at first glance can be easily mistaken for any other smartwatch on the market. Connecting to any iPhone or Android device using bluetooth technology, users can receive text messages, read emails and even find the nearest Starbucks. The team has already received over 70,000 orders for the watch and is also in the early stages of developing the Dot Pad, a first ever Braille device with a large screen where the possibilities are endless. Click below to watch the founder speak at a recent Ted talk or click here to learn more about this amazing step forward for a population often left behind in technological advances.

Why it matters:

In a world dominated by smart devices, Dot increases accessibility to millions of visually impaired individuals. This technology also has the profound ability to increase literacy for millions of children at an early age due to an affordable price point and user experience; Not to mention the possibility to reduce the stigma around being visually impaired with having access to what is now mainstream technology.

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.