Samsung announced a set of cellphone accessories on Friday that may be helpful to the visually impaired. The add-ons, for the company's midrange Galaxy Core Advance phone, could aid in navigation, reading and note-taking.
The fanciest accessory has to be the Ultrasonic Cover, a chunky case that uses ultrasonic sound waves to detect the presence of people or objects within about 6 feet of the phone. That's useful in unfamiliar areas and for spotting items that can't be detected with a cane.
Next is the Optical Scan Stand, which allows the phone to be held in place at the perfect height above a sheet of paper for the optical character recognition app to scan it. Although books on tape and braille versions of documents are often available, the stray bill or notice might need to be scanned.
Last is a set of small NFC (near-field communication) tags that can be placed wherever the user pleases, and which launch a voice note app whenever the phone detects them. That way, a tag can be put on a TV remote to remind the user of the button layout, or perhaps on the fridge for the quick recording of groceries to buy.
The accessories should be available soon through Samsung's online store. Pricing has not yet been announced.