London-based OwnFone has launched the world’s first customizable Braille phone for £60 to give visually challenged users more comfort and independence. The device uses 3D printing technology to add personalized buttons in Braille.
The OwnFone phone builder automatically converts contact names on buttons into Braille. This technology can also be used to create textures and guide buttons for partially blind or aged people who aren’t comfortable with Braille.
In 2012, the company released the world’s first customizable and simplistic Braille phone for the visually impaired and recently, it released a simple handset for children. The new Braille device is based on these two previous designs.
Although it is currently available in the UK, the company’s founder Tom Sunderland is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign internationally. The phone is available in a variety of patterns and colors.
Braille buttons complement the word and image buttons already available from OwnFone.
Although other Braille handsets have been designed, Sunderland told the MailOnline his product is the world’s first Braille Phone to go on sale, and is patent pending.
‘There has been many concept designs for Braille phones over the years, but all of them have so far remained as concepts,’ Sunderland told MailOnline.
‘To develop any of these designs would be very expensive and the market for Braille phones is relatively small compared with mainstream markets.
‘3D printing provides a fast and affordable way to overcome this barrier.’
The mother of a seven-year-old Will who has been blind since birth shares her son’s experience of using Ownfone Braille phone.
Will’s mother said:
‘Will’s never been confident enough for us to leave him at a friend’s house or a birthday party.
‘But since he’s had his phone he’s asked to be left at his friend’s party and told us we could leave. It’s a resounding success and he felt very grown up and very pleased with himself.’
This might seem counter intuitive but Tom continued: ‘Just because someone can’t see doesn’t mean they don’t want something that looks great.
‘Will was determined to have a Black Skulls design’.
Via : Dailymail