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iOS 18 unveils eye tracking: Control your iPhone with your eyes

iOS 18 unveils eye tracking: Control your iPhone with your eyes
Source: Pixabay

Apple recently announced new accessibility features coming later this year in iOS 18, including Eye Tracking. The feature allows users with physical disabilities to control an iPad or iPhone using their eyes.

Just like they always do, Apple gives us a glimpse of the new accessibility features before they fully unveil the new operating systems at WWDC in June. And, as usual, they don’t mention ‘iOS 18’ before it’s time.

iOS 18 eye tracking
Source: Apple

How does eye tracking work for iOS 18 on iPhone and iPad?

The new accessibility features will be included in software updates like iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15, and visionOS 2. This announcement came one day before Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Mac users will be able to customize VoiceOver keyboard shortcuts and use Mandarin for Personal Voice. The Vision Pro will receive features like systemwide Live Captions, Reduce Transparency, Smart Invert, and Dim Flashing Lights.

Powered by artificial intelligence, Eye Tracking gives users a built-in option for navigating iPads and iPhones using just their eyes. Designed for users with physical disabilities, Eye Tracking uses the front-facing camera to set up and calibrate in seconds. With on-device machine learning, all data used to set up and control this feature is kept securely on the device and isn’t shared with Apple.

Eye Tracking works across iPadOS and iOS apps without needing additional hardware or accessories. Users can navigate through app elements and use Dwell Control to activate each element, accessing functions like physical buttons, swipes, and other gestures solely with their eyes.

More about the accessibility features

Additionally, Music Haptics will allow users who are deaf or hard of hearing to experience music through the Taptic Engine in iPhones. Vocal Shortcuts will enable tasks to be performed with custom sounds. Vehicle Motion Cues can help reduce motion sickness when using an iPhone or iPad in a moving vehicle. More accessibility features will also be added to visionOS. These updates use the power of Apple hardware and software, including Apple silicon, AI, and machine learning. They continue Apple’s long-standing commitment to designing products for everyone.

“We believe deeply in the transformative power of innovation to enrich lives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why for nearly 40 years, Apple has championed inclusive design by embedding accessibility at the core of our hardware and software. We’re continuously pushing the boundaries of technology. And these new features reflect our long-standing commitment to delivering the best possible experience to all of our users.”

“Each year, we break new ground when it comes to accessibility,” said Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives. “These new features will make an impact in the lives of a wide range of users, providing new ways to communicate, control their devices, and move through the world.”

About the author

Jike Eric

Jike Eric has completed his degree program in Chemical Engineering. Jike covers Business and Tech news on Insider Paper.

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