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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

How to Use Eye Tracking to Interact With Your iPhone?

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Since the launch of smartphones, a lot of people have been experimenting with different ways in which we interact with them. I remember Sony launched its hover technology quite a while back which allowed its users to communicate with the display without touching it. And while Apple does not spend much time on these far-fetched features, third-party developers have always come to the rescue on exploring these avenues.

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This article is a result of one of such third party app which allows its users to control their iOS devices by just using their eyes. If that has attracted your interest, please continue to read as we show you how you can use this third-party app to control your iPhone with your eyes:

Note that the eye tracking currently works only inside the app and not outside it. However, it allows you to access different web apps including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, thus allowing you to access your favourite websites and apps effortlessly.

Control your iOS Devices Using Your Eyes

As mentioned previously in the article, we will be making use of a third party app to utilise this feature. The app is called ‘Hawkeye Access’, and it uses the “True Depth” camera module on the iPhones to monitor your eye movement to use it as an input. That is why, this app will only work on iPhones which come with True Depth camera technology which include the following iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. That said, Apple has released a new iPad Pros which also comes with True Depth camera technology, in which case, the app should work on them too. With that being said, let us see how you can set up and use this app:

1. It’s simple. Use this link to download and install the Hawkeye Access app on your iPhone. Also know that its free of charge, so you don’t have to worry about spending money.

2. Now, follow the on-screen instructions to calibrate the app with your eye moments. Then you can select between Blink, Smile, and Hold gaze. The option that you choose will act as your touch input. To interact with your phone easily and accurately i will advise you use the Blink, so I suggest that you select that.

3. Once you are done with the calibration, the app will give you an interface with big icons which you can choose with your eyes to open. There is also a ‘Settings’ button which can be used to manage different settings.


4. Now, you are required to move your eyes to navigate and blink to interact with the app. You can go back and forth using the left and right sides while the bottom left corner acts as the Home Button.

During the testing process, the app performed well; however, I had to train myself to be able to move with just my eyes and not my entire head. If you move your whole head, it will be tough to use the phone as the cursor will be too sensitive to control.

It took less than an hour for me to get the hang of it, but I don’t know how long it’ll take you to get it to work correctly, however, after that, it was a smooth ride being able to use the app with ease. That being said, this tech is still far behind touch interaction, and it will take a couple of years before regular folks can use it. But in this current stage, it is only good for people who are enthusiastic about tech.

You should also note that while the app is not yet good enough for day-to-day use, the concept is quite beautiful and using it about half an hour gave me the confidence to use this app more often. I enjoy using it because it provides a glimpse of what the future of tech hold for us.

Once this tech is fully implemented more reasonably, it would help people for reading purpose but especially disabled people who can’t afford that high tech stuff. Do check the app out and share thought if you liked it or not.

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