iPadOS 17 revolutionizes the eye-tracking experience for eye gaze users
With this new version of the iPad operating system, iPadOS 17, a bright and promising scenario for developing more accessible environments for Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) users has been presented, revolutionazing the eye-tracking experience for eye gaze users.
The recently added “Snap to Item” and “Auto-Hide” functionalities bring added value to the user experience, and provide more options related to the use of the device itself. Examples are the ability to more precisely control both iPad applications and navigable pages, as well as the possibility to use external software with Apple’s own AssistiveTouch cursor.
The Snap to Item function converts supported buttons into a “magnetic” cell in which the cursor and the information visible on the screen is drawn. When looking at a cell with fit to element, the cursor “disappears” and becomes a highlight of the entire cell, adjusting to the size and shape of the cell.
“These features only apply to eye-tracking devices certified by Apple and that have Mfi certification, a distinction held only by two companies in the world. IRISBOND is one of them and the only one that allows it to be used with Windows and iPadOS, indistinguishably.” points out Oskar Berreteaga, CTO of the Spanish technology company IRISBOND.
This feature is beneficial to all types of gaze users, and creates a “made for gaze” feel in every application in which it is used. Helps users to be more accurate by eliminating the distraction caused by the cursor. It stabilizes the eye tracking experience, making the gaze experience smoother, faster and more comfortable.
“After obtaining Apple’s MFi certification a year and a half ago, we knew it was just the beginning of a path of continuous improvement to offer our end users the best possible experience when using our Hiru eye-tracker with iPad devices. Since then, Hiru has improved, including the accompanying Hiru app. We are excited to witness the release of a new version of iPadOS that will provide our end users with a new and improved level of usability for the entire iPad app landscape. The new “snap to item” feature alone deserves the entire iPadOS update. In addition, our latest Hiru firmware release contains image quality improvements, especially for outdoor and bleary-eyed users.”
Oskar Berreteaga, CTO at IRISBOND
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It is also worth highlighting the potential of these gaze functionalities combined with non-gaze functionalities released in iPadOS 17, such as Voice Control, Word Prediction & Save Phrases, which is a major step forward in accessibility for people with different abilities.
Undoubtedly, this is an important step by Apple, as they are committed to improving the experience of using eye-tracking within the iPadOS environment, creating the necessary basics for eye-tracking products to develop and offer a distinctive added value to users. The new features are available only for eye-trackers that are certified by Apple, as Hiru from IRISBOND.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact us for a meeting, support session or anything you might have in mind.
iPadOS 17 revolutionizes the eye-tracking experience
Learn more about Apple and iPadOS 17: https://www.apple.com/ipados/ipados-17/
Discover Hiru, the only eye-tracker that works in iPadOS and Windows, indistinguishably: https://www.irisbond.com/en/aac-products/hiru-the-first-multiplatform-eye-tracker/
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