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Google accessibility feature turns a glance into a command

Apple's mDL eases digital ID sharing
Google accessibility feature turns a glance into a command

Android and iOS are adding accessibility features.

Beginning September 30, Google’s Android will enable people to control some navigation with gesture recognition based on facial expressions. Apple’s accessibility feature is a side benefit of its mobile driving license work.

Camera Switches in Android is designed for people with motor and speech impairments. Expressions are read as basic commands when a user points their phone’s front-facing camera at their face.

People can assign facial expressions that command software to scan and select, for instance. Movements include looking right, left and up; raised eyebrows, smile and open mouth. All image processing occurs on the phone, affording more protection and faster responses than if processing occurred in the cloud.

Android enables customized command input through facial recognition. For example, the app measures the duration of gestures because each action varies greatly among accessibility users. They can program the app to differentiate actions by their size, too, to minimize erroneous cues.

The gesture recognition software works with physical switches that people use, as well. A brief demonstration is here.

Apple, meanwhile, has announced that the driving licenses and state IDs issued by Utah, Oklahoma, Maryland, Kentucky, Iowa, Georgia, Connecticut and Arizona can be saved to its Wallet app.

The Transportation Security Administration’s administrator, David Pekoske, welcomed Apple’s entrance into the fledgling sector.

And the Security Technology Alliance endorsed Apple’s digital ID and the ISO/IEC 18013-5 standard with which its mDL complies.

The documents can be viewed on iPhones and Watches.

Interest in Apple’s digital ID feature, which can only succeed when the nation as a whole accepts it, has not been overwhelming.

A Forbes contributor covering accessibility has written that Apple’s move is a significant step for those who have difficulty holding and displaying physical documents. A chime and vibration already tell users that they have successfully purchased something using Apple’s Pay app.

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