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Communications of the ACM

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Technical Perspective: Eyelid Gestures Enhance Mobile Interaction

boy with eyes closed and arms extended

Credit: Getty Images

Technologies have a huge potential to increase access to services. The Internet democratized access to information. Social media democratized access to audiences and communities of interest. Smartphones democratized access to computing and communication resources. Conversely, technology is also a factor of exclusion. Historically, when new technologies emerge, a portion of the population is excluded from access due to the abilities they assume. As these technologies become relevant and structural in our day to day, the greater is their negative impact on excluded communities.

Assistive technologies (AT) are created to bridge this gap. In the past, physical ATs tended to be bulky, expensive, and not designed with social acceptability in mind. Mobile devices, on the contrary, can be used in a variety of contexts to assist people. They have become the best ATs: small, lightweight, portable, and resourceful. By using a mobile device, people can access information, communicate, be productive, have fun, and even access other assistive services through this technology Swiss Army knife. One thing still needs to be guaranteed: that people can interact with the mobile device.


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