The Apple Watch continues to be an extension of its user. And this, whether it is valid or not. To help people with disabilities, Apple is unveiling future features to better control their watch, even when it’s difficult to use such a small screen.
Do more by doing less. This is what could make life easier for a good number of smartphone and tablet users who are diminished in their physical abilities. Visually impaired, hard of hearing or with reduced mobility, many people with various disabilities often find it difficult to evolve on a daily basis due to a lack of products adapted to their needs.
Fortunately, for several years now, the Tech community has tackled the problem of accessibility head-on, and innovations such as dedicated functions are popping up everywhere. Among these players, Apple is one of the spearheads of the subject and all of its features are designed to be usable by all of its users as often as possible.
AssistiveTouch, the winning feature
Worn on the wrist, the Apple Watch gained in gesture controls last year, in particular to be able to be used without being touched. For this, the Apple brand has developed AssistiveTouch, a function that is based on movement sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope) and the heart sensor to pass instructions to its device without ever touching the screen or controls.
The ability then to detect the slightest muscle movement and even slight tendon activity allowed navigation with a cursor on the screen. The pinching (pinch) of the fingers then proved to be a shock ally. And it will help even more.
Among the new features announced by Apple on the occasion of Accessibility Awareness Day, which is being held this Thursday, May 19, we find new possibilities thanks to a double pinch (double pinch) which will allow you to take calls, trigger the camera, dismiss a notification or start a sports activity and many other things. It’s up to you to configure according to your desires and needs.
This function is based on AssistiveTouch technology and can be a great help for all, valid and invalid, as was also tamed the Back Tap function by all iPhone users.
Mirroring or how your iPhone takes control of the Apple Watch
And if you struggle with the small size of the Apple Watch, why not rely on your iPhone? Apple has announced the arrival of the Apple Watch Mirroring function to control the connected watch remotely from the smartphone paired and connected via AirPlay.
By activating the future functionality in the settings, it will be possible to use Switch control or VoiceControl (whose languages taken into account will be more numerous and the tones more varied). It will then be possible to use voice commands, head movements, sound actions or connected external accessories to control everything.
The capacities of the iPhone will be used to manage the commands on the Watch, the menus, the functions, but also the possibilities such as knowing your heart rate, using the Breathing application, the oximeter, etc.
Other new functions are planned in the coming months and will also be useful to Apple Watch users, such as Siri Pause Time, which will allow you to adjust the voice assistant’s waiting time before responding to a request. A welcome improvement for people with speech impairments who could run into an impatient Siri if it drags on too long.
Siri will be able to be more patient // Source: Apple
Sound alert notifications become more accurate // Source: Apple
Notifications following specific sound recognitions will be improved on watch and iPhone. They can be personalized according to sounds specific to a person’s environment (alarm, doorbell, particular device, etc.).
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