Founded by entrepreneur Hyungsoo Kim and headquartered in Washington DC, Eone is an inclusive designer company and developer of the Bradley watch, a revolutionary timepiece originally designed for visually impaired people that can be read using touch alone.
After interacting with a visually impaired student whose watch audibly informed him of the time during a lecture at MIT, Kim thought this solution was often impractical and felt the need for better watch designs for the visually impaired. So he approached two Rhode Island School of Design graduating students – David Zacher and Amanda Sim, to assist him in developing a solution to the problem.
Together, they got the idea of developing a mechanism, which relied on magnets to manipulate two metallic balls functioning as the hands of the watch and which could be touched to ascertain the hour and minute. The magnet of the Eone Bradley watches rotates the two small metallic balls around the watch face letting wearers tell the time just by touching the indices without having to look at the watch. The front ball on the watch reads minutes, while the rear ball indicates the hour. The minute ball is located at the top of the watch while the hour ball is situated in a groove cut within the titanium casing. Users only have to determine the location of the metallic balls by touch and will still be able tell the time with relative ease.
Kim says the visual appeal of the Eone Bradley watch was part of his vision for the product: “We wanted people to know that blind people have an equal desire to be fashionable as well as look good.” He contin
ued, “Before, they didn’t even have any option, but now they do.”
The tactile timepiece is named after Bradley Snyder – an ex-naval officer and one of the major source of inspiration for the watch, who lost his sight in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan in 2011 but determined to prove his will power, went on to participate at the London 2012 Paralympic Games where he won gold and silver medals. The company explains that it has worked with Snyder and others with visual impairments to create a watch that easily allows them to tell the time. Snyder also helped the company with the project development.
Initially, the development of the Eone Bradley watch was initially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, and it exceeded its $40,000 target by $550,000. After a successful crowdfunding campaign, the watch was launched in 2013 and in 2014, was nominated for Design Museum’s “Design of the Year” award category. Today, the stylish watch has gained hundreds of thousands of fans in both the sighted and visually impaired communities, for its unique aesthetic.
Pronounced as the letter “E” and number “1”, the designer watch is bold, comfortable, bold, trendy, fashionable, and comes at affordable prices. If you want to be able to tell time without being caught having a look at your watch, the Eone Bradley watch is your perfect choice. Presently, Eone is developing several other inclusive design projects, set to be launched in the near future.
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