Camera Switches: navigate Android with facial gestures
In 2015, we launched Switch Access for Android, which lets people with limited dexterity navigate their devices more easily using adaptive buttons called physical switches. Camera Switches, a new feature in Switch Access, turns your phone’s camera into a new type of switch that detects facial gestures. Now it’s possible for anyone to use eye movements and facial gestures to navigate their phone — sans hands and voice! Camera Switches begins rolling out within the Android Accessibility Suite this week and will be fully available by the end of the month. .
You can choose from one of six gestures — look right, look left, look up, smile, raise eyebrows or open your mouth — to scan and select on your phone. There are different scanning methods you can choose from — so no matter your experience with switch scanning, you can move between items on your screen with ease. You can also assign gestures to open notifications, jump back to the home screen or pause gesture detection. Camera Switches can be used in tandem with physical switches.
We heard from people who have varying speech and motor impairments that customization options would be critical. With Camera Switches, you or a caregiver can select how long to hold a gesture and how big it has to be to be detected. You can use the test screen to confirm what works best for you.