Cision PR Newswire

IRISBOND: iPadOS 17 revolutionizes the eye-tracking experience for eye gaze users

BOSTON, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- With this new version of the iPad operating system, iPadOS17, a bright and promising scenario for developing more accessible environments for Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) users has been presented.

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.

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. Eliminates "drift" caused by looking at a gaze cursor. It stabilizes the eye tracking experience and eliminates distractions from cursor movement, making the gaze experience smoother, faster and comfortable. Users have a much more positive and satisfying experience due to the increased fluidity of use.

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 the eye-tracking system within the iPadOS environment, creating the necessary basis for eye-tracking products to develop and offer a distinctive added value to users. The new features are only available for eye-trackers that are certified by Apple, as IRISBOND's Hiru.

As Oskar Berreteaga, IRISBOND CTO, states: "After obtaining Apple's MFi certification, 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. Now, 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. The new "snap to item" feature alone deserves the entire iPadOS update."   

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Eneko Sese
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