OwnFone Braille Phone Has a Whole Other Kind of Touchscreen

By Gerald Lynch on at

The simplicity of a touchscreen interface on smartphones and tablets has opened up the worlds of computing and digital communication to people who would otherwise have found computers alienating. But for the visually impaired, the lack of hardware buttons is actually a drawback.

For the blind, touch is an invaluable sense, allowing those who cannot see to feel their way around the world and the objects it contains. OwnFone (which has previously made simplified, customisable phones for children and the elderly, complete with static pictures alongside buttons dedicated to a single contact) recognise this. Its braille phone works on a similar concept, replacing the contacts image with 3D-printed raised braille text. Four different contacts can be assigned to the phone, putting those with extremely poor eyesight just a button push away from an emergency contact.

With a barebones spec sheet, it's mostly the customisation man hours you're paying for with the £60 phone. Once you've bought it, it'll cost you between £7.50 and £15 a month, based on how many calling minutes are required. [OwnFone, BBC]