UK Releases World's First Braille Mobile Phone

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By Tanya Diente | May 20, 2014 11:19 AM EST

For the past few years, the technology behind mobile phones have greatly improved beyond our expectations. With regard to technology, many smartphones have improved and made our lives easier. The touchscreen also may have pushed the technology forward but left more to be desired by those who are visually impaired.

Like OwnFone, it has approached mobile phone innovation at an entirely different path, by releasing the world's first Braille mobile phone of its kind in UK, marking a historical first for mobile phones. 

As reported by Engadget, OwnFone currently offers the basic handset for £60 with an additional monthly charge between £7.50 and £15.00 per month, depending on how much call time you need. The phone itself (photo) is designed with 3D printed customizable plastic. With its design, you can easily guess its price.

According to GSMArena, Tom Sunderland, the phone's inventor, said "3D printing provides a fast and cost-effective way to create personalized Braille buttons." Visually impaired customers who can't read Braille can also opt to have raised letters printed instead on the phone's contact buttons.

The company wants to be able to provide visually impaired customers with a low-cost mobile phone that can be used easily to contact family members and call emergency numbers. Those who wish to buy the phone can place an order on the company's Web site and assign four contacts, preferably one of them is for an emergency number.

BBC reported that currently the phone will only be available in UK. 

Pros

* Excellent battery life with up to a year on standby on a single charge.

* Very light at only 40 grams with compact design almost the size of a credit card.

* Price is very affordable for most consumers.

* Ease of use is perfect for children and seniors.

Cons

* No dial pad so you cannot call anyone else other than the preset contacts on the phone.

* To change a contact you would need to get in touch with customer service.

* Changing a contact name on the phone requires you to affix a decal over the old contact.

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