Netflix Accessibility Hack Lets You Control Streaming With Your Eyes

Netflix is looking to improve accessibility where its iOS app is concerned and, as such, has shown off a novel feature called Eye Nav, which will allow users to control it with various facial movements.

The company made the announcement on its biannual Hack Day, revealing that Apple's Face ID will be incorporated to allow easier navigation.

The hack, built by means of ARKit, could give the user ease of access when it comes to selecting a title and starting it up, as well as navigating through movies and shows, all through the use of the eyes.

via sfgate.com

Unfortunately, though, we can't be sure this hack will ever become a mainstay. Netflix, like many other companies, uses their Hack Day as a day on which they experiment with fresh ideas that may be put to full use later on. But, adversely, they also might not.

If implemented, though, the feature could make Netflix more accessible to persons with impairments. And the three developers - Ben Hands, John Fox and Steve Henderson - have expressed a desire to see this sort of technology stick around.

"Apple’s ARKit is a lot of fun to play with, and has enabled much-loved features like Animoji," they announced. "We care a lot about Accessibility, so we’re eager to try a hack that would allow people to navigate the iOS app just by moving their eyes.

"The same technology that enables Face ID is great for accurately tracking eye position and facial expression.

"We used eye tracking to move the pointer around the screen, and measured the time spent on the same area to trigger the equivalent of a tap. We then used a facial gesture (tongue sticking out) to dismiss a screen. We’re hopeful that this kind of technology will become a part of mainstream Accessibility APIs in the future."

Another feature revealed on Hack Day, called 'Jump to Shark', allows users to skip straight through to the action scenes of certain titles.

While users would jump at the chance to get their eyes on Eye Nav, 'Jump to Shark' doesn't seem like something many would use. However, it would be great to have as many options as possible.


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