OwnFone, The Worlds First 3D Printed Braille Phone for The Blind

Share this Article

Every day new extraordinary uses for 3D printing emerge. Today, a British company called OwnFone announced a new phone that’s quite the innovation. The company, founded on the principles of simplicity, ease, and ownfone-1affordability within the mobile phone market, gained notoriety back in 2012 when they introduced the first customizable handset which partially used 3D printing technology. A year later they introduced the 1stFone, which was targeted towards children ages 9-12. The 1stFone gave parents the ability to customize the device with buttons to call important people.

This week OwnFone introduced the next device to their personalized phone lineup. This device, simply called the OwnFone Braille is specifically created for the vision impaired, and is the very first Braille phone available to consumers. Those interested, simply can go to the OwnFone website and customize the device. Once there, the customer has the option of choosing which names and numbers they would like programmed onto the main screen of the phone. The online system automatically converts English into braille. The customer can also customize the color for the face of the phone, or even add customized pictures if they choose, for a small additional £5 fee. Once created, the phone’s front and back, including the raised braille are 3D printed with stereolithography based technology. Tom Sunderland, the founder of OwnFone decided to use 3D printing because it was the cheapest method for creating hundreds of phones, all which have a different form to them.

ownfone-feat

“The phone can be personalized with two or four Braille buttons, which are pre-programmed to call friends, family, careers or the emergency services,” Mr Sunderland told the BBC.com. “This is the first phone ownfone-2to 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.”

The technology used by OwnFone is currently patent pending. The braille phone costs just £60, and is currently available in the United Kingdom. Having said this, Sunderland has stated that they are planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign shortly, in order to make the phones available internationally. The exact date of the crowdfunding campaign has not been announced as of yet.  For those who are vision impaired and can not read braille, the phone can be created with customizable raised symbols, or letters if the user wishes.

Join in on the discussion of this new innovative device, at the OwnFone Braille forum thread at 3DPB.com. Check out the video below of five OwnFone Braille phone faces being 3d printed.


(Source: OwnFone)

Share this Article


Recent News

AMS 2021 Early Bird Rates Increase on January 29

Sandvik & Co. Acquire Dental and Medical 3D Printing Firm Proxera



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Thor3D & ProtoTech Solutions Combine 3D Scanning with Body Measuring Software

Germany and Russia-based handheld 3D scanner developer Thor3D, creator of such scanning systems as the Calibry and the (now discontinued) Drake, has been practicing its trade since 2015. Recently, the...

Maker of CREATOR Metal 3D Printer to Be Bought by Lumentum for $5.7B

There have been several important acquisitions in the 3D printing industry, including that of EnvisionTEC by Desktop Metal, Origin by Stratasys, and 3D Hubs by Proto Labs, leading us to...

Sponsored

Towards Zero Waste and Failures: AdditiveLab’s Customizable Simulation Enables Increase in Metal Additive Manufacturing Efficiency

AdditiveLab’s Mariam Mir will be speaking at 3DPrint.com’s upcoming AMS online industry summit (Feb 9-10, 2021). Register here. Metal additive manufacturing (AM) process simulation predicts the potential production outcome and gives vital...

Featured

Dream M&As: 3D Printing Mergers and Acquisitions We’d Like to See in 2021, Part 3

Inspired in part by the acquisition of EnvisionTEC by Desktop Metal, of 3D Hubs by ProtoLabs, and of Origin by Stratasys, we’ve been brainstorming about the newly hot 3D printing stocks and renewed interest...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.