Google has always had a build-in accessibility suite that includes a set of accessibility features for all the devices powered by Android. This notable feature will enhance the experiences and readability of people with some of the other types of disabilities. Some of the categories that have apps to help disabled persons to access the device are screen readers as well as switch and voice-based input systems.
Now Google is all set to release a new feature in the Android Accessibility Suite. A new feature has been added in the upcoming Android 12 to the Android Accessibility Suite. This feature will allow you to use your different facial expressions to control your Android Smartphone.
This Accessibility suite has been released as a part of the fourth beta release in Android Version 12. This beta version has been revealed for the Google Pixel Phones for all beta users and XDA developers. In the beta version, a new feature called ‘Camera Switches’ has been added to the accessibility service in the suite- Switch Access.
The Switch Access feature includes various methods that let you access your Smartphone without using the touchscreen feature. Previously, you could perform actions like swipe, scroll, select, and others using an external device via USB. Now this new feature called ‘Camera Switches’ will let you interact with your device by using your facial expressions.
Currently, the Camera Switch feature has its support for a small number of facial gestures. Interestingly, some of the other app and functions on your phone can be controlled using these facial expressions. Hopefully, the list of the supported gestures might increase in near future. The list of gestures are as follows:
- Opening the Mouth
- Looking Left
- Raising Eyebrows
- Looking Right
- Looking Up
Corresponding Camera Switch actions
- Pausing Camera Switch
- Enable the auto-scan feature
- Reverse the auto-scan
- Select option
- Next option
- Previous option
- Touch & hold the option
- Scroll forward in the list
- Scroll backward in the list
- Home Screen
- Back button
- Notifications Panel
- Quick Settings
- Overview Option
If the accessibility feature is enabled on your device and it detects that you have opened your mouth, it will perform the corresponding action to that facial expression- open the notification panel for you.
Now after you have checked the notifications in the panel, you can return back to the home screen by just raising your eyebrows.
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How it works
When the Camera switch is active in the Accessibility Suite on the Smartphone, an icon will be constantly present on the notification bar. It will indicate that the front camera of the device is being used to recognize your facial expression. Moreover, Some XDA developers have also found that the Camera Switch feature is not exclusive to the 12th version of Android.
Unfortunately, the APK is not officially released for Android users on Google Playstore, so you can either wait for it to be officially released or easily sideload its APK. You can download the updated version of Android Accessibility Suite from APK websites like APKMirror. Interestingly, you can also use the feature on Android 11 powered devices as well by sideloading the APK.
Android phone owners can customize the camera switches according to the need. They will be able to change the corresponding settings for each facial expression, adjust the sensitivity of capturing the facial gesture and make other adjustments as well. The camera switch may consume a lot of power and drain the battery.
Using the Camera Switch feature, most of the features and controls will be accessible by facial gestures. Previously, the switch gesture already had features like voice control and gestures. Camera Switch will be another fine addition to make it easy for the disabled.