‘World first’ Braille phone goes on sale

UK-based OwnFone, a company that lets users design their own mobile devices, introduced what it’s calling the world’s first Braille phone.


OwnFone users can now create a phone with Braille buttons, starting at $100 (60 British pounds), according to the BBC.

 Previously, OwnFone users could only include “word buttons” (featuring contacts’ names) or “image buttons” (featuring contacts’ photos) as part of their keyboard. The Braille option is new to both OwnFone and mobile phones in general: While other companies have designed Braille phones before, OwnFone claims its device is the first one to go on sale, the BBC reported.

As of last week, users can add two or four Braille buttons that are pre-programmed to call family and friends. There is also the option of including a emergency-services button, which must be pressed three times to go through.

The target demographic for OwnFones is typically seniors and children. The device, which comes with a 3D-printed keyboard, is the size of a credit card and is made-to-order. Users can select from a collection of background designs and exterior colors.

The OwnFone also claims to have long battery life, promising that it will last up to a year in standby mode.

Although India-based startup Kriyate came out with a Braille-phone prototype last year, OwnFone’s model is the first to hit the market. It’s on sale now at


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