Utilizing new 3D printing technology, London-Based firm, OwnFone, has released the first ever pre-programmable Braille Phone to go on sale. The item itself is highly customizable since the technology of 3D printing is so adaptable. For those who can’t read Braille but are still visually impaired, OwnFone can print raised text onto the device.
The phone is currently only available in the UK and retails for around $100 USD. The 3D printing technology has allowed OwnFone to keep costs low and creates the option for the device to be customized easily.
After releasing various prototypes, OwnFone’s newest Braille phone is personalized with two or four pre-programmed buttons.Of course, the idea for the phone is not an original one. An organization in India, Kriyate, has also completed a prototype Braille enabled smartphone.
While the device itself is cutting edge, for some visually impaired users Apple’s VoiceOver features may be more accessible technology. VoiceOver is screen-reading technology that allows users to navigate through their smartphone by using gestures.
OwnFone’s new device is meant to provide instant connections between blind users and their friends and family. With options for high customization and limited availability, it will need to make a big impact in the UK market before it can make an appearance in other countries.