3D-printed braille mobile phone now on sale

OwnFone’s handset can be customized with four saved numbers for blind users

Most modern smartphones include accessibility features designed to help those with disabilities and impairments, but now there’s a streamlined phone custom-designed for blind users.

OwnFone’s new braille device is reportedly the first of its kind to be publicly sold, and each is 3D printed and can be customized with up to four saved numbers using the raised dot-based language. Alternately, raised English text can be printed on the slots for those who cannot read braille.

The straightforward design and limited feature set make it much easier for those with vision impairments to stay in touch with a core group of family and friends. The device has haptic feedback and vibration features built in, as well.

OwnFone’s braille handset is available in the UK starting at £60 (it’s £67.50 if you want four number slots rather than two), in addition to a monthly service cost that ranges between £7.50 and £15 per month, based on the number of minutes needed.

The company first launched in 2012 with simple devices designed for young and elderly callers, and the new braille version maintains a similar design and aesthetic as the other devices.

[Source: BBC via Engadget]

READ MORE: Kids' reactions to old-school rotary phone prove how past it we all are