Google continues to work on the accessibility of Android smartphones. In the future, it will be possible to control the devices via facial expression. This should give those who cannot operate them with their hands another control option besides voice control.
Available with Android 12
Available will be the new feature according to XDA Developers with the next update to Android’s Accessibility Suite app. Accordingly, it is not yet available. However, the tool should also be usable under the old Android version 11; the Play Store states that all versions from Android 6 onwards are supported.
The functionality is basically self-explanatory: Certain actions – such as scrolling or opening the home screen – can be linked to certain facial expressions and subsequently triggered by them. A smile or raising the eyebrows is then enough to make something happen on the screen. The sensitivity of the program can be calibrated so that unwanted actions do not occur.
Alternative to voice control
The tool is useful for all those who cannot operate the touch functions. So far, the only option for alternative operation is voice control, but this is not always easy to use, especially outside the home – think, for example, of libraries or other quiet places where the smartphone is to be used.
The biggest disadvantage of the new function is said to be that it is power-intensive. Users who want to use it should therefore make sure that they can charge the device’s battery without problems when they are on the move. Google itself recommends connecting the device to the power supply during use.