Galaxy Note 4 said to come with “ultrasonic cover” to help the visually impaired


samsung galaxy note 4 4

As we do with each passing iteration of the Samsung Galaxy Note, we expect Samsung to go all out with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in terms of specs and unique features. Rumors are already telling us to expect ridiculousness such as 4GB of RAM and 4K video recording, and now you can add another one to the list.

According to info received by SamMobile, Samsung is planning to introduce an “ultrasonic cover” that can help visually impaired people make their way around. The ultrasonic sensor will send waves out in front of the user for purposes of identifying objects ahead of them. It could detect a wall or a pole and help you avoid it, for instance.

We’re not sure how accurate the technology is, but Samsung’s nowhere near confident enough to suggest you ditch a good ol’ cane or a seeing-eye dog. Here’s a quick alleged excerpt from the Note 4’s user guide about the thing:

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.

The manual goes on to detail some of the pitfalls, including the accessory’s field of vision narrowing the further you set the sensor’s distance (you can set it to detect stuff from a short, medium or long distance). They also warn of objects dropping off at certain angles and distances, meaning it might miss an upcoming object if it’s not positioned or angled the right way.

It certainly doesn’t sound safe enough to be used alone, but it could be a pretty nice companion to your typical medical solutions. The feeling is that Samsung will look to introduce this thing alongside the Note 4 at their upcoming Unpacked event on September 3rd, so we’ll have to wait to see it for ourselves before passing final judgment.

Would this accessory help you or someone you know in their day-to-day life? Let us know in the comments below, and let us know if that alone would move you to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 over any other phone this year!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. How did we ever live without this?!

  2. This is more for people who walk into poles and other people while looking down on their device.

    Samsung is just being nice about it.

    1. ^
      This. If your eyes are so far gone that you need a seeing eye dog and a cane odds are you won’t benefit much from a note 4.. Or any smartphone. Just sayin..

      1. Blind people do use smart phones productively. You’d be surprised what people with disabilities can overcome and new technology helps.

    2. Yup, this feature will probably help prevent people bumping into people.

  3. I’ve seen people walk into the street without looking up from their phone. If this can run in the background it may save a few idiots lives.

    1. That’s called Darwinism, let it do its job!

      1. Sounds funny until it is someone you care about.

        1. No one I know is that stupid.

    2. LoL!! I’m that guy. =.P

      If this comes out right, it could replace using your camera for vision.

  4. I don’t see many people using this simply because it won’t be reliable enough, but I suppose it could occasionally be helpful for people that are completely blind or close to it. I am legally blind, but I have enough sight to be able to see things in front of me so this really wouldn’t help me.

  5. I would assume that the Note 4 would be able to record videos in 4k since the Note 3 can.

  6. I think its a terrible idea. Things like that let Samsung act as if they put something extraordinary in their new phone, while in reality I think no one would ever use it. Note 4 will be my next phone, so instead of this useless feature, id rather have something else. Adding this ultrasonic thing will only jack up the price.

  7. This “ultrasonic cover” will be DOA.

    1. They’re also SOL if they think gimmicky features like this will lure buyers.

  8. Let’s add ONE more thing to eat away at their already bad batteries. And another odd feature at that. First a heart sensor, not this? I mean, it’s not bad, just odd. It seems Samsung is trying to tailor to literally every market of people.

    1. Can’t decide which feature is more useless (and a bigger battery drain, as you’ve pointed out): Giving the exercise freaks/hypochondriacs a heart rate monitor or giving who knows who a barely reliable sensing device.

  9. Knowing Samsung, I’m pretty sure it will only work under optimal conditions. I wonder how many visually impaired people will end up in accident because of this. You know it’s bound to happen.

  10. I’m legally blind and I think it’s cool they are putting this out on a new phone instead of the galaxy advance which is just a g2 with a bigger screen. I’ve got a malfunctioning s3 atm and I doubt I’ll get to get this phone until at least the note 5 or 6 comes out (stupid high prices XP)

  11. If they do it right, it’s a good idea.
    But I just don’t believe it.

    I love GNote, but I since the first one I don’t understand why they insist on the physical button.
    Note is already too big and it’s getting bigger, it’s time to get rid of that useless button, note 1 and 3 looks like a giant iphone with that and I really see any advantage on it.

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