London-based OwnFone has rolled out what they deem to be the first Braille phone of its kind in the world, where the front as well as the back of the handset has been specially constructed using 3D printing techniques, which is also customizable, depending on what the customer wants. Of course, while there are other companies that have come up with Braille phones in the past, OwnFone claims that their device is the first of its kind to actually go on sale for the masses.
As for folks who are unable to read Braille, the company also has another possible option, which would be to print raised text on the keypad. This unique device is currently available in the UK only, where it will cost £60 a pop. According to its inventor Tom Sunderland, the reason it is so affordable in relation to other high end handsets is due to the fact that 3D printing has been utilized to deliver both the front and back of the device, sharing, “3D printing… provides a fast and cost-effective way to create personalised Braille buttons.”
Mr. Sunderland continued, “The phone can be personalised with two or four Braille buttons which are pre-programmed to call friends, family, carers or the emergency services. This is the first phone to have a 3D printed keypad and for people that can’t read Braille, we can print texture and raised text on the phone. Our 3D phone printing process is patent pending.”
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