Using your eyes to control an iPhone looks like something out of a science fiction or high-tech movie, don’t you think? But what if I told you that this feature does exist. This technology has been made public and can be used by anyone to browse the web or apps on an iOS device without even using their hands. This technology is still new and evolving, so you may not have high expectations as such. But you can still do all the basic things with it.
Hawkeye Labs, based in the United States, has developed an accessibility program that allows you to use your eyes to operate your iPhone. Matt Moss, a WWDC grant recipient, produced the first version of Hawkeye Access. Moss then polished the program, which is currently available for download from the App Store. The eye tracking feature is currently only available in the app. However, it does give you access to other online apps like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and others so that you can easily visit your favorite websites and apps.
How does this application work?
Any iOS user who wants to control their phone through their eyes can do so by installing Hawkeye’s software from the Apple App Store. According to a Hawkeye Labs demo video, the software in question would allow you to launch your phone’s web browser as well as apps like Facebook and Instagram.
When the app is launched, the user is guided through a nine-point calibration procedure. Scrolling is detected by staring at the edge of the device, while selecting an item is done with a smile or an exaggerated wink.
The software uses the True Depth cameras in iPhones to track eye movements and other facial gestures, while also providing access to other apps. It is a lot of fun to use and can be helpful for people with motor disabilities. The program can be downloaded for free.
Support for eye-tracking devices is one of the new accessibility features of iPadOS 15, allowing people with disabilities who have little or no upper body mobility to operate an iPad with their eyes. This software is only compatible with iPhones with True Depth camera technology, such as the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.
How do you use Hawkeye Access?
- Install Hawkeye Access from the App Store.
- Follow the instructions to configure the app with your eye moments. Then you can choose between smiling, blinking and holding your gaze. (The choice you choose will serve as your touch input).
- When you are done configuring the app, you will see an interface with large app icons that you can choose with your eyes to open. There is also an “Options” button for managing the various settings.
- All you need to do now is move and blink your eyes to participate in the program. You can move by using the left and right sides.
Eyewear Beam, first released in January, is an app that allows people to view their head and eyes using nothing more than an iPhone. When connected to a Windows PC, the program performs the process using the TrueDepth camera array commonly used for Face ID, using the iPhone as a webcam. The program can be used to record head movements as input to games, as well as show game viewers what they are currently watching. It can also be used for training by showing what a player or employee is looking at in an application or game so that they can see how they are paying attention to events and activities.
The software is free to download and use in the App Store public beta. A premium version will be available, with additional features and other upgrades, but the price has not yet been determined.
It is compatible with all iPhone models with a TrueDepth camera, as well as the iPad Pro with Face ID capability, running iOS or iPadOS 13 or later.
When this technology is applied in a more logical way, it will greatly benefit individuals, especially those who use their iPhone to read. Check out the app and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Until next time, with another topic. Until then, Toodles.