It’s not often that this blog sings the praises of a tiny electronic device, but the SimpleMatters Ditto deserves it.
The Ditto is a wearable wristwatch-sized vibrating button that is linked to a smartphone via Bluetooth. When you get a phone call, a text message, a news flash or anything that makes your smartphone vibrate, the Ditto jumps and jangles on your wrist or bra strap or wherever it’s clipped, alerting you to pick up the smartphone and see what's going on.
The notification the Ditto issues is strong and unmistakable, unlike the anemic vibrator on smartphones. I’ve missed countless vital calls and texts because I can’t feel my iPhone 6s buzzing. It just hasn’t been dependable for timely communication.
The other day a deaf friend posted a message on Facebook about her Ditto, and I was instantly interested. I’d never heard of the device, although It came out last year. I ordered one immediately from Amazon.com ($35 plus tax and shipping). It comes in white, black or clear plastic.
A black one has been on my wrist for 24 hours now and has not failed to notify me instantly of an incoming message.
This afternoon Debby texted me from the Porcupine Mountains music festival, where she was volunteering in the hospitality suite for artists. Seems that the musicians’ thirst was mightier than anticipated, and would I please go to town right away for four cases of cold Keweenaw beer and chauffeur it to the festival? Forty-five minutes later the emergency rations had been delivered and everybody was happy.
This device is a godsend not only for the deaf, but also smartphone users who need to mute their devices in courtrooms and classrooms at the like. They’ll never miss an urgent text.
Some people have been disappointed in their Dittos because it doesn’t do everything. For instance, although it will relay an alarm-clock buzz from the iPhone, it does so only once—and most people need to be repeatedly buzzed to wake up properly.
That’s not a problem for me; Trooper, my service dog, always rousts me by 6 a.m. for his morning pee.
I do think the Ditto is a work in progress for many people, but so far as I am concerned, it’s ready for prime time. And it’s inexpensive. Best thirty-five bucks I ever spent.