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Samsung's new smartphone case uses ultrasound to detect people and objects

Matt Brian, @m4tt
March 14, 2014
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Samsung's Galaxy S5 may be getting lots of smart new accessories, but the Korean smartphone maker is also making sure its lower-powered phones get some love too. After including various software usability functions in the Galaxy Core Advance at the end of last year, the company today introduced three new accessories that have been designed specifically to help disabled or visually impaired users do more with their Android device. First up is the Optical Scan Stand, a raised bracket that automatically triggers the phone's OCR features to recognize and read aloud text placed in front of the phone. There's also Voice Labels, which are similar to Samsung's NFC-equipped TechTile stickers, but let visually impaired users make voice notes or record short explanations on how to use various devices around the home.

Perhaps the most impressive accessory of the three is Samsung's Ultrasonic Cover: a specialized case that uses sound waves to detect people or objects (in a two-meter radius), helping users navigate new surroundings by sending vibration or spoken alerts. Even without the accessories, the Galaxy Advance Core features a trio of physical buttons on the front and dedicated camera and voice recorder buttons on the side, assisting smartphone owners that don't want to rely solely on on-screen controls.

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