Apple reveals new accessibility features coming this year: Door Detection, Live Captions, Apple Watch Mirroring, more

In honor of World Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple is Preview No. Among the new accessibility features that will be available on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac later this year. The company says these new features will provide additional ways for users with disabilities to “navigate, connect, and get the most out of Apple products.”

Detect the door

One of the new features is called Door Detection, which Apple says can help users locate a door when arriving at a new destination. Door detection can help users understand how far they are from the door and describe its features, including whether it is open or closed. If the door is closed, the feature can inform the user whether the door can be opened by pushing, rotating the handle, or pulling the handle.

Door Detection can also read signs and codes around the door, such as room numbers or “there is an accessible entry code.” Door detection works with a combination of LiDAR, an iPhone or iPad camera, and machine learning.

Apple Watch mirroring and quick actions

For Apple Watch users, Apple has announced a new feature for Apple Watch Mirroring. This is touted as a way to make the Apple Watch “more accessible than ever before for people with physical and movement disabilities.”

Apple explains that Apple Watch Mirroring allows users to control the Apple Watch using iPhone assistive features like Voice Control and Switch Control, and use inputs including voice commands, voice actions, head tracking, or Made for iPhone external keys as alternatives to tapping on the Apple Watch screen.

Apple Watch Mirroring uses a range of hardware and software capabilities, including “Advances Built on AirPlay”. The key here is that users who rely on these navigation features can access things like blood oxygen, heart rate, alertness, and more from the Apple Watch.

Quick Actions is another new feature coming to Apple Watch:

With new Quick Actions on the Apple Watch, the dual dial gesture can answer or end a phone call, dismiss a notification, take a photo, play or pause media in the Now Playing app, and start, pause or resume a workout. This is based on the innovative technology used in AssistiveTouch on the Apple Watch, which gives users with upper-body extremity differences the option to control the Apple Watch with gestures such as tap or tap without having to tap the screen.

Live Comments

For the deaf and hard of hearing community, Apple has announced Live Captions for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. This feature works by adding captions to audio content in real time, including FaceTime calls or any other social media or video app, streaming media content, or even “having a conversation with someone next to them”.

Apple says:

Live Captions in FaceTime automatically captions written dialogue to connect participants, so group video calls become more convenient for users with hearing impairments. When using Live Captions for calls on Mac, users have the option to type a response and have it speak aloud in real time to others who are part of the conversation. And because Live Feedback is generated on the device, user information remains private and secure.

more

Other new accessibility features Apple announced today include:

  • Voice OverApple’s industry-leading screen reader for blind and visually impaired users adds support for more than 20 additional languages ​​and languages, including Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
  • With buddy console, users can ask a caregiver or a friend to help them play a game; The Buddy console combines any two controllers into one game, so multiple controllers can direct input to a single player.
  • With Siri downtimeusers with speech impairments can adjust how long Siri waits before responding to a request.
  • Voice Spelling Mode Gives users the option to dictate a custom spelling using the input letter by letter.5
  • Voice recognition They can be customized to recognize sounds specific to a person’s environment, such as their unique home alarm, doorbell, or appliances.
  • The Apple Books The app will introduce new themes, introduce customization options like bold text and adjust line, letter and word spacing for an accessible reading experience.

Apple says these features are coming in software updates later this year. You can learn more at The company’s full press release.

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