Designer Hyunjae Noh designed Dot Chess for the visually impaired to develop social relationships through a game of chess. In the process, it combats the feeling of isolation that could lead to emotional distress, depression, and difficulties in interpersonal relationships.

This chess board is playable by both visually impaired and non-visually impaired individuals. The set pieces are strategically designed using color and braille. Upper-case and lower-case indicators in braille enable players to distinguish between their pieces and their opponent’s pieces. The role of each piece is represented in both braille and the letters of the alphabet.

For the visually impaired, Dot Chess is equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) within each chess piece to detect each move. The movement is then displayed in braille on the Dot pad through piezo actuators, allowing the blind player to immediately understand the progress of the game, read the opponent’s moves, and develop strategies.

Moreover, this chessboard has a speaker on the side that relays important information such as an invalid move or a checkmate. Adding voice guidance helps eliminate barriers between players and enables them to stay informed and fully engaged in the game.

Dot Chess “aims to alleviate social isolation among the visually impaired by introducing the beloved game of chess, which is enjoyed by people of all ages and genders around the world. Both visually impaired and non-visually impaired individuals can play chess together, share diverse experiences, understand each other, build intimacy, and ultimately develop empathy,” Noh says of the project.

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Images courtesy of Hyunjae Noh/Behance