Samsung smartphone add-ons help the blind ‘see’ the world

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 14 Mar 2014

ile most smartphones have accessibility options for navigating the phone itself, Samsung is going a step further.

A trio of new assistive technology accessories for Samsung’s Galaxy Core Advance smartphone aim to help users navigate the real world. The accessories are mainly targeted at visually-impaired users.

Samsung’s Ultrasonic Cover, for instance, detects objects up to six feet away from the user, can send a either a vibration or speech alert. The idea is that users would hold the phone in front of them while walking through unfamiliar surroundings.

Samsung is also offering an Optical Scan St for reading paper documents. The st includes a slot for inserting a sheet of paper, holds the phone at the ideal height to scan the page. The phone then recognizes the text reads it aloud to the user.

Finally, a set of Voice bels helps users distinguish objects from one another. Users can stick a label onto anything record a voice note about it on their phone. The phone can then detect the label through near-field communications play back the voice note.

Samsung says it came up with the accessories through “research in-depth interviews.” For now, they are only available for Samsung’s Galaxy Core, a mid-range phone with 4.7-inch 800-by-480 resolution display, dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear camera VGA front camera. Samsung says it will exp its accessibility options to more devices in the future.