In a blog post by Google, Lisie Lillianfeld Product Manager, Google Research and Allen Nikka, Product Manager, Central Accessibility Team have revealed the new potential that Andro

Every day, people use voice commands, such as… Hey Google, or hands to navigate in their phones. However, this is not always possible for people with severe motor and language disabilities.

To make Android more accessible to everyone, Google is introducing two new tools that simplify phone control and communication through facial gestures: Camera Switch and Project Activate. Built with feedback from people using alternative communication technologies, both these tools use the front camera of the phone and machine learning technology to detect facial and eye gestures. American society has also enhanced its existing accessibility tool, Lookout, so that blind or visually impaired people can carry out more activities quickly and easily.

Navigate on Android with facial gestures

In 2015, Google launched Switch Access for Android, which allows people with motor disabilities to navigate their devices more easily using adaptive buttons called physical switches. Switch Camera, a new feature of Switch Access, turns the phone camera into a new type of switch that detects facial gestures.

Now it is possible for anyone to use eye movements and facial gestures to navigate the phone, without hands and voice.

Switch Room will be implemented within the Android Accessibility Suite shortly, and will be available by the end of the month in the United States.

Users can choose from one of the six gestures • look

There are several scanning methods to choose from, to best fit the specific needs of each person. In addition, you can assign gestures to open notifications, go back to the main screen or pause the gesture detection.

Android Project Activate: Make Communication More Accessible

Project Activate, a new Android application, allows people to use the same facial gestures to quickly activate custom actions with a single gesture, such as uttering a preset phrase, sending text, making a phone call or playing audio.

To understand how facial gestures could allow personal communication and expression, Google has worked with numerous people with motor disabilities and language and with their caregivers.

Traditional communication systems for disabled people include slow processes, which make it difficult to fully participate in conversations. With Project Activate, these people can rely on a fast and portable way to respond in real time, using only their phone.

Customization is integrated in all areas of the application, from the particular actions you want to activate, to the facial gestures that a user wants to use, to the sensitivity of the application to facial gestures. So whatever your facial mobility, people can use Project Activate to express themselves fully.

Project Activate is available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia in English and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Lookout: expansion to new currencies and ways

The blog post finally focuses on the news for Lookout. Google constantly updates our accessibility features and tools so that more people can benefit from it.

In 2019 Big G launched Lookout for blind or visually impaired people. Using a person’s smartphone camera, Lookout recognizes objects and texts in the physical world and pronounces them out loud. Lookout has different ways to simplify a series of daily activities, from the identification of food products to the description of objects in the surrounding environment.

Last year, Document mode was introduced for the acquisition of text on a page. With the new features, Document mode can now read the text written by hand, including post-it and greeting cards from friends and family. Lookout supports handwriting in Latin languages, with others coming. In addition, with more people around the world discovering Lookout, Google has expanded Currency mode to recognize euros and Indian rupees, and additional currencies are coming.

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