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Apple previews features for users with disabilities, to be available this year

Apple previews features for users with disabilities, to be available this year

Using a combination of LiDAR, camera, and on-device machine learning, the Door Detection will be available on iPhone and iPad models with the LiDAR Scanner

Apple is also expanding support for its screen reader VoiceOver with over 20 new languages and locales. These features will be available later this year with software updates across Apple platforms. Apple is also expanding support for its screen reader VoiceOver with over 20 new languages and locales. These features will be available later this year with software updates across Apple platforms.

Enabling users with disabilities to navigate and connect, Apple on Tuesday previewed innovative software features blind, deaf and users with physical and motor disabilities.

Apple says using advancements across hardware, software, and machine learning, people who are blind or low vision can use their iPhone and iPad to navigate the last few feet to their destination with Door Detection; users with physical and motor disabilities who may rely on assistive features like Voice Control and Switch Control can fully control Apple Watch from their iPhone with Apple Watch Mirroring; and the Deaf and hard of hearing community can follow Live Captions on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Apple is also expanding support for its screen reader VoiceOver with over 20 new languages and locales. These features will be available later this year with software updates across Apple platforms.

“Apple embeds accessibility into every aspect of our work, and we are committed to designing the best products and services for everyone,” said Sarah Herrlinger, Apple’s senior director of Accessibility Policy and Initiatives. “We’re excited to introduce these new features, which combine innovation and creativity from teams across Apple to give users more options to use our products in ways that best suit their needs and lives.”

Using a combination of LiDAR, camera, and on-device machine learning, the Door Detection will be available on iPhone and iPad models with the LiDAR Scanner. This feature will be available in a new Detection Mode within Magnifier, Apple’s built-in app supporting blind and low vision users.

It can help users locate a door upon arriving at a new destination, understand how far they are from it, and describe door attributes — including if it is open or closed, and when it’s closed, whether it can be opened by pushing, turning a knob, or pulling a handle. It will also be able to read signs and symbols around the door, like the room number at an office, or the presence of an accessible entrance symbol.

For the deaf and hard of hearing community, Apple will bring Live Captions on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Be it FaceTime, video conferencing or social media or other apps, users will be able to follow along more easily with any audio content They will be able to adjust font size for ease of reading.

Live Captions in FaceTime attribute auto-transcribed dialogue to call participants, so group video calls become even more convenient for users with hearing disabilities. When Live Captions are used for calls on Mac, users have the option to type a response and have it spoken aloud in real time to others who are part of the conversation.

VoiceOver, Apple’s screen reader for blind and low vision users, is adding support for more than 20 additional locales and languages, including Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. Users will also be able to select from dozens of new voices that are optimised for assistive features across languages. These new languages, locales, and voices will also be available for Speak Selection and Speak Screen accessibility features. Additionally, VoiceOver users on Mac can use the new Text Checker tool to discover common formatting issues such as duplicative spaces or misplaced capital letters, which makes proofreading documents or emails even easier.

Published on: May 17, 2022, 10:21 PM IST
Posted by: Vivek Dubey, May 17, 2022, 10:19 PM IST