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Welcome to Eone: InTouch

Can we build a world where inclusion is the norm? Can accessibility be beautiful? Can people of all abilities and backgrounds enjoy the same experiences and products together? We believe the answer to all these questions is ‘yes!’ If you do too, you’re in the right place.

 

What is [InTouch]?

With the launch our exciting new timepiece, the Eone Switch, we thought it was a great time to spruce up our website and create a space for our growing community to connect. Our new blog, Eone InTouch is where you can discover ideas, people and stories that inspire us and reflect our values. Plus, you’ll stay updated on what the Eone team are up to.

 

The Eone ethos

Eone is a brand that was built on the principle that good design should be inclusive and beautiful. Accessibility is key to making the world more inclusive and as we have grown this remains at the heart of all we do. We believe more than ever that design should be for as many people as possible. After all, Eone means everyone! That’s why inclusion drives what we do, how we do it and who we partner with. The Eone team are dedicated to bridging gaps and solving problems through constant innovation. We’re also committed to our charitable partnerships with organizations like Kilimanjaro Blind Trust, The Seeing Eye, and Vision Care.

 

How it all began

Eone founder Hyungsoo Kim, a graduate student at MIT, learned through a friend who is blind, that people who are blind or low vision didn’t have many options when it came to wristwatches. Certainly, none that were elegant or discrete. Guided by the conviction that everyone has a right to time, he collaborated with designers and people with vision impairments to create a watch that everyone - sighted or blind - can use and enjoy. 

 

The Design

The goal was to design a timepiece that is accessible to a person with a visual impairment and has universal appeal. Rather than designing a watch for people who can’t see, we wanted to design a watch for everyone. 

Our timepieces feature ball bearings that give wearers the option to tell time using touch or sight. One ball bearing glides around a recessed track on the outer edge of the face, indicating hours, while another circles a track on the top of the face, indicating minutes. 

This design met all our criteria. It serves as q simple way to tell time through touch or sight, and is as sleek and beautiful to the touch as it is to the eye.

 

Our journey so far

In 2014 we launched our first timepiece, the Bradley. It was named after former naval officer Bradley Snyder, who became blind defusing bombs in Afghanistan. After his injury, Brad competed in the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games, winning multiple gold and silver medals, and shattering a world record.

Brad was our perfect spokesperson because he is dedicated to breaking down barriers for people who are blind and speaking out against stereotypes. Brad proved that the obstacles of living with a disability come from social inequality and not from disability itself.

 

What the Bradley did

Blind and visually impaired users enjoy how the Bradley offers usability in a way that feels elegant and refined. For those who are often overlooked by watch brands and the fashion industry, it was a welcome change.

Sighted wearers not only enjoy its sleek appearance and the ability to check time discretely, but they also value what the Bradley represents. We’ve heard our community say that wearing our timepiece can give a powerful insight into the experiences of someone who is visually impaired. Whether you learn to tell time through touch, or use sight, the Bradley is a reminder of how inclusion can and should feature in everyday life. Crucially, what the Bradley did, was get people talking. Wearing it can often be enough to start important conversations about inclusion.

 

What happened next?

In October 2021 we unveiled our new design on Kickstarter, the Eone Switch. The Switch retains all the best features of the Bradley, but with an exciting new interchangeable Ring design. This timepiece offers wearers an element of choice, which is an important part of accessibility that is often overlooked. Once a product is accessible, that is often deemed to be enough. We wanted to show that everyone, of all abilities has the right to choose, and that accessibility and choice can sit beautifully together. 

We are excited to see the Switch go into production and begin to reach our community in early 2022. After all, the Switch was a result of listening to our community, and the design process was guided by what we heard. 

 

Where do we go from here?

And now? Now we keep working towards our goal, making inclusive design the norm. Of course, timepieces are central to what we do, but we are interested in all aspects of inclusive design and any form that takes. So through InTouch you’ll not only read about our products, but we’d love to share other stories and ideas from people and brands that resonate with us, and hopefully with you! So, let’s take this journey into a more inclusive world together. Whoever you are, whatever your story, we welcome you.