iOS 14.2 Includes New AR-Enhanced ‘People Detection’ Accessibility Feature

Steven Aquino, writing at Forbes:

The purpose of People Detection is to aid blind and low vision users in navigation; this type of application is particularly well-suited for the LiDAR sensor in iPhone 12 Pro. The goal is to help the visually impaired understand their surroundings — examples include knowing how many people there are in the checkout line at the grocery store, how close one is standing to the end of the platform at the subway station, and finding an empty seat at a table. Another use case is in this era of social distancing; the software can tell you if you’re within six feet of another person in order to maintain courtesy and safety.

Users can set a minimum distance for alerts — say, six feet for the aforementioned social distancing — as well as having an option to use haptic feedback to deliver those notifications. There also is audible feedback; if a person is wearing one AirPod, they will be notified when they’re in close proximity of a person or whatnot. People Detection is fully compatible with VoiceOver, Apple’s screen-reader technology.

What a magnificent feature this is. Aquino has some interesting thoughts on what would take it to the next level, too.

Monday, 2 November 2020