World's first Braille phone, OwnFone, goes on sale in the UK for £60


Earlier this year, we heard about Braille-enabled phones by India-based Kriyate, as well as a smartphone for the visually impaired with intuitive haptic feedback technology. But the first Braille phone in the world has now been launched in the UK.

 

OwnFone has launched a Braille phone, which it claims is world’s first, with a price tag of just £60 (around Rs 6,000). OwnFone claims it's the first company to launch a Braille phone publicly at such a low cost. The company has managed keep the production cost low by using 3D printing for the front and back panels, according to BBC.

 

"3D printing... provides a fast and cost-effective way to create personalised Braille buttons," Tom Sunderland, the inventor of the phone, told BBC's website. He added that the Braille script can be replaced with raised English text for those who cannot read Braille.  “Our 3D phone printing process is patent pending,” he said.

 

OwnFone, which looks unlike any other phone on the market, can be personalised with two or four braille buttons, pre-programmed to call certain contacts. In 2012, OwnFone launched the world's first partially 3D printed phones and later followed it up with a small form factor phone designed for children with programmable buttons for emergency contacts. The Braille phone is based in part on these models, even though the former are cheaper at £40 and £50.

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