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Apple built live captioning and “door detection” into the iPhone

Apple added accessibility features to make it easier for people with visual, hearing, and motor disabilities to use its services (Apple)
Apple added accessibility features to make it easier for people with visual, hearing, and motor disabilities to use its services (Apple)

Manzana presented new functions of accessibility that combine innovations at the level of hardware, software and machine learning. The tools, which will arrive throughout this year, seek to help users with different disabilities to take advantage of different benefits of the products.

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One of these new services is Door Detection, which can be used by people who are blind or have low vision – through their iPhone and iPad.d- to travel the last few meters to your destination. This will be possible thanks to audio messages that they will receive from their device when pointing the camera towards the area to which they are going.

This system will help them determine how far away they are from the door, describe its attributes (including whether it is open or closed) and, in the case of being closed, if it can be opened by pushing, turning or pulling a handle. The system will also be able to read the signs or symbols around it. This new feature combines the power of the lidar technology, the camera and the machine learning Of the device.

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There are also innovations that come directly to the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Mirroring Tool helps users with reduced mobility to control the smartwatch remotely from their iPhone. In this way, they will be able to access applications such as blood oxygen measurement, pulse control or the Mindfulness service.

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Apple Watch Mirroring, users can control Apple Watch from their paired iPhone (Apple)
Apple Watch Mirroring, users can control Apple Watch from their paired iPhone (Apple)

With Apple Watch Mirroring, users will be able to control the watch using the iPhone’s assistive features, such as Voice Control and Switch Control, as well as employ resources that include voice commands, sound actions, small hand gestures, head tracking or external switches as alternatives to touching the smartwatch screen.

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Besides, the company announced that voiceover, Apple’s screen reader for blind and partially sighted users adds support for more than twenty new locales and additional languagesincluding Catalan, Bengali, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese, among others.

For its part, for the deaf and hard of hearing community, the company incorporates live captioning into the iPhonethe iPad and the Mac. Users can more easily follow any audio content, whether in a phone call or face time, a video conferencing application or social networks. Users can also adjust the font size to make it easier to read. This is an accessibility option that will facilitate the consumption of this type of content.

Automatic and real-time captioning is added for conversations and video calls
Automatic and real-time captioning is added for conversations and video calls

It should be remembered that Google incorporated the function of automatic real-time subtitling (live caption) since the release of Android 10 and now this tool is available in English on Pixel 2 and later devices, as well as some other Android phones. Also offered in German, Spanish, French, English, Italian, and Japanese on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones.

Apple integrates accessibility into every aspect of our workand we are committed to designing the best products and services for everyone,” said Sarah Herrlinger, senior director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple.

He added: “We are excited to introduce these new features, which combine the innovation and creativity of Apple teams to give users more options to use our products in the way that best suits their needs and lives.”

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