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Ownfone is a UK based mobile phone company that lets people design their own mobile phones. The customizable features include word buttons, where users can have their contact’s names on the buttons.
The company is now making it possible for the users to add the Braille option on the phone’s keyboard. This is done using the 3D technology and allows users to add customized Braille buttons, which can be programmed to call family members or friends.
This phone has another option for an emergency call button that makes a call when pressed three times. The Ownfone mobile phones target demographic is the seniors and children. The phone is said to have a long lasting battery that can go for a year when on standby.
The 3D printing is a fast and cost effective way of printing the Braille buttons. To minimize costs, the printing is done on both the front and back of the gadget.
The 3D keypad comes with raised text popping up on the screen, hence making the phone suitable for both those who can read the Braille and those who cannot.
Several other Braille phones have been designed, but Ownfone’s phone is the first to go on sale, others like the one from Kriyate, the Indian based start-up, only existed in prototype. This had a Braille display that had feedback controls that could make certain sounds or vibrations corresponding to specific commands.
The 3D partially printed Ownfone Braille phone is currently retailing at about £60 ($100) in the UK.