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Uncovering S5 for the disabled

Many disabled people battle using smartphones due to poor eyesight, lack of hearing and physical disabilities, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 is equipped with features designed with many of these disabilities in mind.

According to Statistics SA, more than 2 million people in South Africa are living with a disability, meaning that 4.3% of the South African population is disabled. The result is increasing demands on smartphone and computer makers to cater for their needs.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone has offered among the most advanced responses yet, and is equipped with features designed with the needs of senior and disabled communities in mind. These features are highlighted on an accessibility menu that is listed by category, enabling users easily to identify and operate them.

The following features are included to make technology more accessible:

People with low vision can rely on TalkBack

TalkBack reads text on the smartphone’s screen and works with the device’s camera by dividing the screen into nine sections to assist the user to locate faces before capturing photographs. If one person is identified, it guides the user to position the face in the middle of the screen. Through this feature, the user can more easily utilise the Galaxy S5’s powerful 16-megapixel camera. This feature also enables the smartphone to read numbers that are pressed, out loud.

Dark screen protects privacy

In order to protect the privacy of the visually impaired, the user can access the Galaxy S5’s features with the screen turned off. With this tool, the user can operate the device without having to be conscious of others in public places. When the device is operated with the screen off, power consumption is also reduced.

Font size for comfortable reading

The Galaxy S5 provides seven different font sizes including smallest, very small, small, medium, large, very large and largest so that users can choose the font size they are most comfortable reading.

Negative colours and colour adjustment

The Galaxy S5 is equipped with a feature that reverses colours to increase readability on the display. Additionally, for those who have a hard time reading texts in certain colours, the device allows users to customise and fine-tune subtle colours.

Optical reader to extract texts

The Galaxy S5 uses an Optical Reader to extract texts and data from images, documents, name cards and QR codes in order to identify patterns of colour and read text out loud. This enables the visually impaired to do more with their device, such as choosing an outfit by perceiving colours shown on the display.

Features for users with hearing difficulties

Baby cry detector

Developed specifically for people who have a hearing impairment, the device vibrates to notify the user when the baby is crying. Users can also receive these alerts through Samsung’s extended industry leading wearable line of GEAR devices, including GEAR 2, GEAR Fit and GEAR 1. Users can easily distinguish these notifications by setting a different vibration pattern from incoming calls or alarm alerts.

Auto haptic allows the device to be switched to vibrate

This feature switches sound to vibration – the Galaxy S5 vibrates with sounds produced by certain applications for music, games and video for that enhanced sensory experience.

Flash notifications alert

Users who are deaf or hard of hearing are able to utilise this function to notify them of any alerts, incoming calls and alarms. The light on the camera will start to flash to draw attention to the device, in order to respond to a message or to be reminded of a scheduled event.

Turn off all sounds

It allows users to mute all smartphone sounds in one go, helping the hard of hearing to avoid mistakes such as having their phone ring in a library or during a performance.

Features for users with physical disabilities

Assistant menu enables easier navigation

This is a virtual mouse pad designed for customers with limited hand movement. It enables them to enjoy frequently-used features more quickly and easily. Frequently used menus can be set and the touch pad and cursor’s size are adjustable, as well as the speed of the cursor.

The Galaxy S5 additionally provides an ‚ÄòAssistant Plus’ which displays menu options for favourite features such as photo gallery and contacts.

Air gesture allows the screen to be switched on

This feature enables users who are unable to push hardware buttons to turn on the screen simply by waving their hand over the device.

Customise the device input method with interaction control

This functionality lets the user choose an input method when using applications or settings. A user can disable the touch screen input, as well as the lock auto screen rotation and the hardware key, to prevent making accidental commands.

Direct access to device accessibility features

In addition to the above-listed features, the Galaxy S5 offers functions that enable users to easily operate the device’s accessibility features. By pressing the home key three times while in any screen, one can easily set or disable accessibility, talkback, colour reversal and input control.

The Galaxy S5 exemplifies Samsung’s commitment to “people-inspired” innovation and through the development of ground-breaking technology we are confident that the practical and valuable features will empower individuals with disabilities and in turn, improve lives,” says Fleischer.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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