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Apple will soon let you control its devices with your eyes and hand gestures

The new assistive features will be coming later this year via a software update.

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Image: Apple

On Wednesday, Apple announced multiple software updates that will bring more accessibility options to both its products and stores. The coolest update that’s coming is for the Apple Watch and lets you control the device by gestures like pinch or clench, without needing your other hand.

You can see it in action below, with the accelerometer and gyroscope teaming up with the heart rate sensors to enable the new gesture-based controls to help those with limited mobility control. A new motion pointer is also coming that lets you navigate through different screens by just tilting your wrist.

Check it out this example below

https://twitter.com/reneritchie/status/1395073014270681098?s=20

The thing is, this is one of the assistive features that will make just as much sense for able-bodied users of the Apple Watch. Trying to answer a call when your other hand is full is difficult for anyone, so being able to clench to answer a call is going to come in clutch.

Support for third-party eye-tracking hardware is also coming to iPadOS, making it possible to control an iPad using just your eyes. The onscreen cursor will follow a person’s gaze, with extended eye contact activating whatever actions are set, like a tap. The VoiceOver screen reader is also getting some new features that can explore images or receipts in more depth than before.

Apple is also introducing a new sign language service, SignTime, which enables sign language users in the US, UK, and France to contact AppleCare and Retail Customer Care using their country’s version of sign language. This can also be used for on-demand sign language interpreters while at an Apple Store location.

The new assistive features will be coming later this year via a software update.

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