Dec 30, 2014 | By Alec

Who would've thought that there is room for 3D printing technology in a phone market dominated by increasingly flat and complex smartphones? Well, there is, as the London-based company OwnFone has proven with a number of intricate yet affordable phones aimed at children, the elderly and the blind.

These 3D printed phones are approximately the size of a credit card, and feature a set number of numbers it can dial, like a child's parents, health care workers and the emergency number. Each button has been programmed to phone the person mentioned on it (the 'mom' button only phones your mom), and can even be modified to feature braille, rather than letters. What's more, their battery life is about a year (just about the mirror opposite of the common smartphone), while a phone can be purchased for as little as £40. All this makes them perfect back-up phones or entry-level devices for children.

Last week, the OwnFone company revealed that it had gathered a very impressive investment sum of £786,000 (approximately a million euros or 1.2 million dollars). Notable investors include former Nokia Mobile board member Nigel Litchfield, London Business Angels, Renaissance Capital Partners and the Angel CoFund; an investment syndicate backed by the British government to stimulate innovative British start-ups.

As part of this series of investments, Nigel Litchfield will join the company's board of directors. As he stated, 'We all acknowledge the near-global ubiquity of the smartphone, but this doesn't mean such technology is the right product for everyone, all the time. In fact there are plenty of occasions when a smartphone – expensive, energy consuming and complicated – is an unnecessary hassle. The team at OwnFone have recognized this and I really look forward to working closely with them as we further develop this product and boost marketing efforts over the next 12 months.'

The involvement of the Angel CoFund also marks the 50th time the British initiative has supported Britain's investor community.

The involvement of Litchfield with this very promising 3D printing startup could mean a lot for the company's prospects on the telecom market, as he is somewhat of a veteran of the industry. Litchfield previously held senior roles with Nokia Mobile Phones for nearly 15 years, being especially involved in product development and marketing. Could this mean we'll be seeing these 3D printed OwnFones everywhere in the near future?

For more on OwnFone, take a look at this promotional clip:


Posted in 3D Printing Company


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