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Google is now offering hands-free navigation and the ability for Android users to communicate using emojis.

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Google is rolling out several new accessibility-focused features to platforms like Android and ChromeOS, timed to Global Accessibility Awareness Day, May 16. Leading the long list is the arrival of Project Gameface on Android. Gameface is software that allows users to control their devices using head movements and facial gestures, expanding accessibility for individuals with disabilities. This technology was initially designed to assist gamers but is now integrated into Android for broader usage.

(Image credit: Google)

Project Gameface on Android supports 52 facial gestures that can be assigned to specific actions, allowing users to customize their control experience. The software enables adjustments for gesture sensitivity, ensuring accurate recognition of user inputs. Google provides the open-source release of Project Gameface on Github for download, complete with setup instructions requiring the Android Studio developer tool.

Additionally, Google has enhanced its Lookout app with a new Find mode to assist visually impaired individuals in locating objects in various categories. The mode uses AI through the device’s camera to provide direction and distance information to users. Meanwhile, Google Maps is updated to offer more detailed information about nearby locations and distances.

Lookout app's new Find mode

(Image credit: Google)

Android’s Look to Speak feature introduces a text-free mode, enabling users to communicate using emojis, symbols, and images. This expands communication options within the app, catering to diverse user needs. Moreover, Chromebooks will soon receive accessibility enhancements, such as increased mouse cursor size and synchronized screen magnification for improved reading experiences.

These updates enrich the Google platform’s accessibility offerings, with small additions like wheelchair-accessible entrance indications on Google Maps for desktop users. While these features are already live, Chromebook enhancements are planned for release in the upcoming weeks.

On Global Accessibility Day, Apple also showcased upcoming accessibility features like Eye Tracking, Vocal Shortcuts, and Vehicle Motion Cues, set for later release this year. These enhancements are anticipated to debut in future updates of iOS, VisionOS, and macOS.

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