According to a new report from the often reliable Samsung blog SamMobile, Samsung is developing a new smartphone cover with built-in ultrasonic sensor that will provide navigation assistance to the visually impaired. The accessory will reportedly launch as a companion to the new Galaxy Note 4 that the company is expected to unveil early next month during IFA in Berlin.
Today’s report not only brings news of the ultrasonic cover, but also provides a description straight from Samsung about how it will work. “According to our sources, the cover consists of an ultrasonic sensor which detects nearby objects in front of the person and provides feedback, appropriately. Users will also be able to change the range of ultrasonic signals and choose between three levels: short, middle and long. However, as the user increases the range of ultrasonic signals, the width of the area covered by the ultrasonic sensor will get narrower.”
The report seems to be quite confident that we will see the accessory launch as an add-on with the Galaxy Note 4 next month alongside the usual covers, cases, and charging accessories Samsung usually offers with its devices. It also provided a description that includes warnings that the accessory is a “non-medical device” and not intended to replace traditional mobility aids (below):
“The Product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This Product is a non-medical device.
It cannot replace a cane and should never be used as a mobility aid or substitute for any mobility aid tool. It must always be used in combination with a cane, a dog guide, or a human guide because, by itself, it does not provide information necessary for safe travel.
We strongly recommend you to educate yourself fully and abide by the operating procedures of this manual before your first use. Furthermore, we encourage you to train yourself with how to use the Product and be sure to have fully understood how the Product works correctly. We are not responsible for or liable for any misuse of the Product or incorrect interpretation of the Product manual. While using the Product in training, it is strongly recommended that you work with a sighted friend who can give you visual feedback, particularly when you work with more advanced skills.
The Product does not detect drop-offs. When doing exercises that require hand scanning, make sure that you use an area without steps or drop-offs, and without car or pedestrian traffic.
The Product does not provide the scope and detail of information obtained through vision and the coverage area/range may vary due to circumstances.
Users should always remove headphones from their ears when approaching and crossing intersections or when walking through areas that include business driveways, parking lots, or alleyswhere traffic might cross the path of travel.
For further warnings and disclaimers, please refer to the Product manual.”