IIT Kanpur develops touch sensitive watch for visually impaired

A professor and a research associate of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur have developed a sensitive watch for the use of visually impaired people. The watch has tactile hour indicators of different shapes. These indicators help the visually impaired persons to recognize the time easily.

About the Touch Sensitive Watch

The user has to touch and scan the hour indicator of the watch to know the time. The watch then communicates back to the user with the help of different vibration patterns. The watch provides user privacy as it does not require audio feedback.

Currently, mechanical watches are available for the visually impaired. Here the user has to feel the needles of hour and minute hand to know the time. On the other hand, the touch sensitive watch developed has no moving parts. Thus, there is no scope of breakage in the touch sensitive watch.

National Programme for Control of Blindness

  • The programme was launched in 1976.
  • The main objective of the programme was to reduce the prevalence of blindness in the country from 1.4% to 0.3%. The prevalence of blindness was 1% in 2007.
  • In 2016, under the National Programme for Control of Blindness, cataract surgeries were performed on 6.5 million people.

Main causes of blindness in India

The main causes of blindness in India are refractive error, cataract, corneal blindness, surgical complication, Glaucoma, Posterior Capsular Opacification, Surgical Complication, posterior capsular opacification.

Blindness in India

According to World Vision Report of World Health Organization, the rate of cataract surgery has increased by nine-fold between 1981 and 2012 in India.

Major barriers to access treatment

  • Financial constraint is the main barrier for men to access blindness treatment in India.
  • Local reasons and financial constraints are the main barriers for the women to access treatment for blindness.


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