An Emerging Solution

Informal discussions at the 2018 International Orality Network Conference surfaced the idea of producing a lower-cost audio player. Because of a compelling need among the blind for such a device for evangelism and discipleship, Resources for the Blind International has taken the lead in developing several such players.

We have now developed, and are offering on this site, what we believe are several "minimum viable players" -- that can be mass-produced and sold at a sub-$10 price. At this price level, navigation is currently limited to moving track-to-track, making this ideal for single-folder collections of relatively short audio files, or for content where the user will just be "listening through," rather than frequently searching or navigating. Higher-priced players with better navigation, greater audio volume, or faster charging are still vital for more rigorous use cases, such as delivering full Bibles or Testaments, or for larger audiences.

We feel the $10 price point is psychologically important, both as a clear, motivating target, and also for the potential to enable distribution rates for low-end, seed-sowing uses of two to three times that of current $20-30 players.

Our mission is to encourage a new class of simple, low-cost devices, probably from multiple manufacturers, allowing ministries to think about new use cases, and distribution at previously economically-prohibitive seed!

We aren't there yet. We believe that, with sufficient resources, focus, and scale, a good quality, $5 player may be attainable.

We can't do this alone -- if you are a pray-er, or have expertise, demand, or resources, we'd love to hear from you!
Spreadsheet of component prices

Small circuit board with microSD card, battery, and penny for size reference

Sketch of possible player design Another player sketch

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