Visually impaired people rely on Braille to read and learn things. But when it comes to daily tasks, like making and receiving payments, it can be difficult as credit cards and QR codes are designed for the majority. Thankfully, devices like Shimmer make a difference.

A winner of the iF Design Award, this wearable tech from designers at Hefei LCFC Information Technology serves as a contactless payment terminal. It allows visually impaired individuals to easily make money transactions as it comes with a Braille keyboard. It also has a built-in camera, an ink screen that displays a QR code to help with receiving payments, and an earphone to aid with auditory instructions.

The Shimmer is designed to be worn around the neck. The Braille keypad sits on one end and the screen on the other. The camera is accessible when you part the upper and lower halves of the device via a line in the middle. Moreover, the keypad has a fingerprint scanner to authenticate payments.

Speaking about the device, the designers acknowledge that “mobile payment is very popular in Asia, but the current most common method of using a smartphone is not friendly to the blind as it requires screen reading software, which is cumbersome to operate and potentially exposes private data.”

The hidden camera allows Shimmer to be more secure and close while the retractable earphones enable the user to confirm payment information. Integrating the earphones into the device’s strap reduces the risk of losing the headphones. This wearable tech makes mobile money transactions inclusive to everyone including the blind. 

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Images courtesy of Hefei LCFC Information Technology