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Apple teases its new one-handed mode of control for the Apple Watch

An Apple Watch. (Source: Apple)
An Apple Watch. (Source: Apple)
Apple has outlined plans for new dimensions of accessibility in its mobile devices, including a new SignTime service that allows people who use certain sign languages to better use the OEM's online support system. The updates also include a new way of using the Apple Watch with just one hand.

Google has already unveiled several ways in which its work will result in new levels of accessibility for those with motor, cognitive or other disorders included. Now, Apple has made it clear it is doing its part as well with some new updates to its own hardware and software ecosystem.

They include SignTime, which involves making Apple Care or Retail Customer Care representatives who are also sign-language interpreters available via video-chat in a browser window. Therefore, it is available online on-demand, and is also to become available in Apple Stores without the need to reserve it beforehand.

Apple SignTime will be compatible with American, British or French Sign Language, and will be launched on May 20, 2021. There something even more interesting in store for those with partial limbs or other challenges that might normally impair the use of one of its Watches, however.

It is a new AI-based system that leverages sensors found in these wearables (gyroscopes and accelerometers, for example) to pick up wrist- and hand-muscle movements and convert them to on-screen controls. This involves relatively simple forms of navigation such as clenching a fist to start or stop a timer, to subtle flicks or twists to reset one and return to a previous screen.

The new mode, known as AssistiveTouch for Apple Watch, is even rated to bring up an on-screen cursor so the user can navigate their wearable's display without touching it.

The OEM has also outlined plans for additional measures such as third-party eye-tracking for iPads, Made for iPhone Hearing Aids and per-app text-size adjustments, but has yet to mention when they will become available to the users who could benefit from them.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 05 > Apple teases its new one-handed mode of control for the Apple Watch
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-05-20 (Update: 2021-05-20)