New Samsung Phone Case Uses Ultrasound To Help The Blind See


Samsung today announced a trio of new assistive technology accessories for the Galaxy Core Advance, including a case that uses ultrasound to help the visually impaired detect nearby obstacles. The Ultrasonic Cover, Optical Scan Stand, and Voice Label were “specially designed with the needs of specific communities in mind,” Samsung says.

The Ultrasonic Cover, which fits onto the Galaxy Core Advance like a regular smartphone case, and is by far the most impressive of the three accessories, sends out ultrasound waves that can detect people and objects up to two meters away. It then uses vibrations and text-to-speech feedback to help the user navigate around those objects.


The Optical Scan Stand helps the Galaxy Core Advance focus on printed materials, then reads them aloud to the user. It can be positioned over things like letters or magazine articles, which automatically activates the Optical Scan application.


The Voice Label is essentially an NFC tag. Users can program them with voice notes and attach them to various devices around their home. When scanned with their smartphone, those voice notes are automatically played. The Voice Label can be used to explain how electronic devices are used, Samsung suggests, or to provide helpful reminders.

Samsung hasn’t yet confirmed when its new accessories will be available, or how much they’ll cost. But the South Korean company does say that it plans to expand accessibility of other Galaxy devices in the future — presumably with similar solutions.