designs for your cellphone's cover are not new, but this model from
OwnFone™ has a unique twist - its case is fabricated
with a 3D printer that can create a keypad with Braille buttons for the blind (or sight-impaired). The OwnFone™ concept
is one of simplicity and special use since it only functions as a phone. You cannot even receive voice mails or text
messages on it (OMG!). If you choose the Braille, Child, or Senior model, it only accommodates
up to four (4) buttons, each with a specific phone number to be dialed, but a standard 3x4 numeric keypad is also
an option. The OwnFone's targeted audience is users with special needs, or maybe as a novelty / vanity phone to show
off to friends.
option with all phone models is to upload custom graphics for the front and back of the phone. I did a quick design
to test out what you get to see prior to committing to a purchase (click image to the left). You can provide separate
images for each button as well as an overall theme. It would be nice if OwnFone provided a template for each layout
that can be modified while taking into account the areas that they occupy. A work-around is to do a screen capture
of the layout you plan to use, then stretch it into the 620x1000-pixel space they allow for the graphics. Create your
design over top of it, then delete the screen capture.
At this time the phones only work in the UK and Northern Ireland network1 and apparently you need to
purchase your service plan through OwnPhone initially. Because of the localized 3D production capability
(as opposed to commitment to large volume orders and inventory) cost is very reasonable
at less than $100US.
1: See FAQ
Posted August 10, 2014