The World’s First Braille Mobile Phone

July 27, 2014 1:00 PM

OwnFoneTwo months ago, OwnFone released a new mobile phone in the UK. This phone isn’t just any other mobile phone, it has personalised Braille buttons to help the visually impaired communicate with their loved ones. This week, they released the same mobile phones in my native Australia.

OwnFone are known for their simplistic mobile phones catering to children and seniors. The mobile phones only enable phone calls to specific contacts via specific buttons, they don’t have texting, voicemail or email functions. These phones cater specifically to children under 12 and seniors due to their simplicity and ease-of-use. This simplicity and ease-of-use is enabled by consumers being able to design and customise their mobile phones, as well as having big buttons with the contacts’ names as there is no screen.

OwnFone’s world first Braille phone has the same purposes, only it stores up to three contacts and their names are printed in Braille. This is done by having the buttons made in different textures to the other OwnFone mobile phones. Visually impaired customers have already tested the mobile phones, one being a young boy who has gained confidence with going out and staying at parties, now that he is able to call his parents easily.

Although there have been other Braille mobile phones designed, this Braille mobile phone is the first to go on the market. It is not known if or when these mobile phones will be released in other countries. I’m sure OwnFone will have no problem selling these mobile phones all around the world, thanks to their consideration, simplicity and practicality.

These phones cost AUS$89 in Australia, a little cheaper than in the UK, where they cost 60 Pounds (AUS$108).