Samsung has a reputation in the tech industry for throwing every possible combination up against the wall to see what sticks and its been a tendency that has served it well in some ways. They have phones of every possible size and cost but have not previously done much for accessibility. Today they have announced three types of covers specifically aimed at increasing accessibility. These covers are all designed for the new mid-range phone, the Galaxy Core Advance and are aimed at the partially sighted.
First is a ‘ultrasonic radar’ cover which completely encloses the phone and vibrates at different speeds or makes noises as you approach objects. It is designed to work at a two meter range.
Second is a stand for the Core Advance that uses the phone’s camera to read printed text, carry out optical character recognition and then to read the text out-loud.
Finally there is an accessory called ‘The Voice Label’ that appears to be some sort of NFC augmented reality device that will identify objects that it is pointed at and will let the user attach voice notes to the objects.
Samsung says that these accessories will be rolled out to other phones in the future, although there is no time-scale mentioned. They say these accessories will be available shortly at an affordable price – we will have to wait and see how much this is and if they are available in the UK but for the right person these accessories look very promising.