OwnFone could be the world's simplest phone

275x250.jpg It may not have the high-tech functions of the upcoming iPhone 5, but the OwnFone could be the ideal solution for young children or people who struggle to get to grips with technology.

Described as "the world's first personalised mobile phone" the OwnFone does away with a screen and the majority of buttons, instead replacing them with direct-dial buttons and volume controls.

Aimed primarily at children and the elderly, the £55 device is customised to the owner and features buttons with the names of up to 12 people they are most likely to want to call. Pressing the name places a call to that person, incoming calls are answered with an answer button.

Each OwnFone is only the size of a credit card and weighs 40g. Makers say they could also be used in situations you may not want to take your expensive smartphone, like to a music festival or to the beach.

Creator Tom Sunderland said: "I wanted to simplify the design of a mobile phone as far as it could go and realised that personalisation was the key to achieving this. If you could make a call simply by pressing a name or photo, you would bypass the complexity of a keypad and connect with people in a simple, natural way.

"Recognising a name or a face is the first thing we learn how to do and one of the last skills to go when we get old. So, a phone with a personalised interface would work for all ages.

"For parents with children that aren't ready for SmartPhones, the OwnFone provides a solution that works for both camps. Parents can control who and how many people their child calls and because the numbers are stored on the cloud there's no way for the child to change the numbers on the phone.

"The phone is effectively worthless to anyone else and not worth stealing, giving parents that extra peace of mind about their child's safety.

"The fun, colourful design of the OwnFone appeals to children, particularly if they get to choose their own colour and style. The small size and lightweight design make it easy for children to carry and wear."

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