The PenFriend Audio Labeller from the RNIB is a fantastic device that allows you to label certain products or items, without having to get used to additional complicated technology such as a smartphone. The PenFriend allows you to put the labels on any product or item of your choice, and record in your own voice what you would like the label to say. When you next tap the label with the PenFriend, the recording you made will be played back to you. Check out the video of us demonstrating this below.
The benefit of being able to record the labels in your own voice is that you can say exactly what you want to know about the product or item you have labeled. For example, if you are labelling food and you don’t care about how much fat it contains, how much sugar it contains etc, all you want to know is what food it is, the storage instructions and cooking instructions, you or someone else would record that information and that is the only information you will hear.
The labels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, usually small and large round labels and small and large square labels, and you can use them on almost any product apart from clothing. However, there are also specific laundry labels that are available that you can use to label your clothes with. These are extremely useful for organising your wardrobe, and can really help avoid those embarrassing moments where you step out of the house in clothes that don’t match!
The PenFriend, along with the labels for it, can be purchased from the RNIB. A pack of labels should be sold with the Pen Friend, but it might be worth double checking with the RNIB that this is the case before you buy it. The Pen Friend itself can be purchased from other retailers, however from our experience, the labels can only be purchased from the RNIB. When purchasing new labels, it is very important that you do not use the same pack of labels twice. Your recordings are matched to a specific label, and using the same one twice will overwrite the original recording. If possible, keep a note of which packs of labels you have already purchased to help avoid the confusion of buying the same pack twice. You can also purchase coloured labels, which may be easier to see if you are partially sighted, and magnetic labels that can be put on things such as tins. All links and prices are below.
Prices and Links
Currently, the PenFriend itself is priced at £79.99 excluding VAT, and £95.99 including VAT.
A standard pack of labels costs £12.49 excluding VAT, £14.99 including VAT. Coloured labels are slightly more, at £12.75 excluding VAT, £15.30 including VAT. The washable labels are £15.75 excluding VAT, £18.90 including VAT. Finally, the magnetic labels are £18.99 excluding VAT, £22.79 including VAT. If you are blind, partially sighted or you are buying on a visually impaired person’s behalf, you are entitled to the excluding VAT price on all those products.