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Apple will bring accessibility features to its products this year

Apple has announced new accessibility features that are expected to be released later this year. These features include eye tracking, music haptics, voice prompts, and vehicle motion signals.

“We deeply believe in the transformative power of innovation to enrich lives,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “That’s why, for nearly 40 years, Apple has championed inclusive design by building accessibility into the heart of our hardware and software. »

Eye Tracking offers users the ability to navigate iPad and iPhone with the movement of their eyes. This feature was specifically designed for users with physical disabilities and works on iPadOS and iOS apps. With Eye Tracking, users can access functions like physical buttons, swipes, and other gestures using only their eyes.

Music Haptics is a new way to experience music intended to help users who are deaf or hard of hearing. When this feature is enabled, the iPhone’s Taptic Engine plays refined taps, textures, and vibrations in sync with the music’s audio. Music Haptics works on a multitude of songs from the Apple Music catalog and will also be available as an API for third-party developers to make music more accessible in their apps.

With Voice Shortcuts, iPhone and iPad will be able to assign personalized phrases that Siri can decode to launch shortcuts and perform tasks. Another new feature, Listen for Atypical Speech, will help users improve speech recognition for a wide range of speech. It is designed for users with conditions that affect speech, such as cerebral palsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or stroke. The features will provide a new level of control and customization for users who are non-speaking or at risk of losing the ability to speak.

Vehicle Motion Cues will help iPhone and iPad users reduce motion sickness in moving vehicles. Research has shown that motion sickness is often caused by a sensory conflict between what a person sees and what they feel, which can be a barrier for some users using an iPhone or iPad when riding in a moving vehicle.

CarPlay will also get more accessibility features, including voice control, color recognition, and sound recognition. With voice control, users can access CarPlay with just their voice. With sound recognition, hearing-impaired drivers or passengers can activate alerts for car horns and sirens. For colorblind users, color filters will make the CarPlay interface visually easier to use, with additional visual accessibility features such as bold and large text.

VisionOS will also see new features this year, including system-wide live captions to help hearing-impaired users. Live captions will also be introduced to FaceTime in visionOS.

Visual accessibility updates will include the addition of transparency reduction, smart inversion, and dim flashing lights for visually impaired users and those who want to avoid bright lights and frequent flashing.

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