iOS 7 is still in the second stage of beta and it won’t reach final release until this fall, but that hasn’t stopped developers from unearthing some interesting features. According to a recent report in 9to5Mac, one of the new features will allow users to control their devices with head motions.
The feature is hidden in the recesses of the Accessibility section of the emerging OS. Essentially, it allows users to turn simple right and left head movements into relatively accurate hands-free controllers.
However, users won’t have the same free-roam controls that they are used to. Instead, the system works much more akin to a classic arcade machine, where the device will continuously rotate through selecting rows of icons (or options). When the device highlights the row that the user wants, the user will have to make a quick head motion to select it. The device will then begin rotating through the individual options, where the user can once again use a head movement to select the desired app or option.
Currently the looping function only runs the apps or options available on screen. It’s unable to flip to the next page of apps or scroll down to find additional choices.
The arms-free functionality is primarily geared towards adding additional accessibility to users, although it’s difficult to see just how much utility this feature would offer to people who don’t have disabilities. The rotating feature is undoubtedly much slower and clunkier than normal hand controls. It’s uncertain whether the head motion control feature will turn up in the final release of iOS 7.