You'll Soon Be Able to Control an Apple Watch Using Hand Gestures

Apple today previewed a long list of new accessibility features coming soon, including AssistiveTouch for the Apple Watch, which will allow users to control an Apple Watch without ever having to touch the display or controls.


Aided by on-device machine learning, the Apple Watch's gyroscope, accelerometer, and heart rate sensor will be able to detect subtle differences in muscle movement and tendon activity, and these movements will allow users to navigate a cursor on the Apple Watch's display through a series of hand gestures, like a pinch or a clench.

AssistiveTouch on the Apple Watch will enable customers who have limb differences to more easily answer incoming calls, control an on-screen motion pointer, access Notification Center and Control Center, and more.

Apple says AssistiveTouch for the Apple Watch will be available with a software update. The feature will likely be part of watchOS 8, which is expected to be unveiled alongside iOS 15, macOS 12, and tvOS 15 at WWDC 2021 next month.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 8
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
20 months ago
This is great news. I have a friend who is missing everything past his elbow on one side. He's quite capable, able to go rock climbing, mountain biking, etc. But something like an Apple Watch can be difficult to control. I'm sure he will be excited about this! I love Apple's stance on accessibility and using technology to improve people's lives. It puts most other companies to shame.

Here is Tim Cook's response to a shareholder saying they should focus only on the ROI and not other things like accessibility or the environment:


"When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don't consider the bloody ROI. If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."

―Tim Cook
I gained a lot of respect for Mr. Tim Apple that day.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jezbd1997 Avatar
20 months ago
Okay this is definitely one of the coolest things I've ever seen
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
20 months ago
getting more and more useful. freakin' apple!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArPe Avatar
20 months ago
Good thing I wear watch on left wrist and pee with right hand. Don’t want to accidentally answer calls like that when I am busy.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DrunkSkunk Avatar
20 months ago
I cant wait for this. Being disabled with only having one arm it has put a hamper on me getting an Apple Watch. When this comes out I will be finally able to get one and use it. So excited!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FrizzleFryBen Avatar
20 months ago
This is an incredible enhancement! I was literally JUST playing with "Pointer Control" in Accessibility settings on my MBA for the first time. I was only using it to control a powerpoint, but what amazing accessibility functionality that Apple (fairly quietly) offers. I don't have any physical limitations that would be assisted with these advancements, but I think it's wonderful and impressive that Apple pays attention and actively adds these features.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

maxresdefault

Apple Watch's Life-Saving Potential Highlighted in Suspenseful '911' Ad

Saturday January 1, 2022 4:15 pm PST by
Apple today shared a new ad titled "911" that emphasizes the Apple Watch's life-saving potential during emergencies. The suspenseful ad revolves around three individuals named Amanda, Jason, and Jim who were each able to get help by dialing 911 using the Apple Watch, with the ad highlighting excerpts from their frantic phone calls with dispatchers. Amanda, for example, said that her car had...
Apple Watch Series 7 Pink and Green Feature

Rumored Apple Watch Lineup for 2022 to Include Three New Models

Wednesday December 8, 2021 1:19 am PST by
Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has today thrown his weight behind rumors that Apple is planning to launch three new Apple Watch models in 2022. In a note to investors seen by MacRumors, Kuo said that the 2022 Apple Watch lineup will include the Apple Watch Series 8, the second-generation Apple Watch SE, and a new "extreme sports" version:The new Apple Watch in 2H22 includes Apple Watch 8,...
Apple Watch Series 8 What We Know Feature

Gurman: Apple Watch Series 8 to Bring 'Major Updates to Activity Tracking'

Monday February 28, 2022 3:45 am PST by
This year's Apple Watch Series 8 will include major updates in the area of activity tracking and a faster chip that will power all of Apple's smartwatch models in a new-look lineup, according to well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Apple is believed to be bringing three new Apple Watch models to customers in 2022, including the Apple Watch Series 8, an updated Apple Watch SE, and ...
Kardia Band apple watch

Apple to Face Claims it Bars Third-Party Heart-Rate App Functionality on Apple Watch

Tuesday March 22, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple must face claims it illegally monopolized the U.S. market for heart-rate monitoring apps on Apple Watch, a California-based federal judge said on Monday. AliveCor, a company that that markets an ECG "KardiaBand" for the Apple Watch, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple in May 2021 accusing the Cupertino company of changing the heart-rate algorithm for the Apple Watch to gain an...
Apple Watch Series 7 Rainbow Crop Blue

Apple Executives Talk Watch Bands: Emphasis on Backward Compatibility, Design Philosophy, and More

Friday December 3, 2021 11:32 am PST by
In a new interview, two Apple executives have discussed Apple's wide range of Apple Watch band options for customers, how they're designed, and their thinking behind them. Evans Hankey, Apple's vice president of industrial design, and Stan Ng, Apple's vice president of product marketing, recently spoke to HYPEBEAST about Apple Watch bands. Apple has a wide range of Apple Watch bands for...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Releases watchOS 8.4.1 With Bug Fixes for Apple Watch Series 4 and Later

Tuesday February 1, 2022 1:18 pm PST by
Apple today released watchOS 8.4.1, a minor update to the watchOS 8 operating system that launched in September. watchOS 8.4.1 comes a week after the release of watchOS 8.4, an update that added a fix for an ongoing charging issue. ‌‌watchOS ‌8.4.1 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new...
apple watch ecg

Woman Credits Apple Watch Heart Rate Alerts With Saving Her Life

Saturday November 27, 2021 11:23 am PST by
A former nurse practitioner has thanked her Apple Watch and its Low Heart Rate notification for likely saving her life, crediting the watch's advanced and proactive health and medical capabilities for alerting her to a potentially life-threatening condition. 68-year old Patti Sohn was gifted an Apple Watch for Mother's Day by her son and has since developed a habit of closing her activity...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...

Popular Stories

iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2022 is no different. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Black Friday iPad Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Black Friday deals have been in full swing for the better part of a month, and now that the shopping holiday is officially here we're seeing even more solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Black Friday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner ...
General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of...
apple watch gold ornaments

Best Black Friday Apple Watch Deals Still Available

Wednesday November 23, 2022 9:31 am PST by
We're tracking all of the best Apple product discounts for Black Friday this week, and the Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, so you're guaranteed to find solid discounts right now. In this article, you'll discover the best Black Friday sales on Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these...
mac imac snowflakes

Best Black Friday iMac and MacBook Deals Still Available

Thursday November 24, 2022 1:07 pm PST by
Our Black Friday coverage continues today with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and iMac. As with all Black Friday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
airpods pro 2

Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

Friday November 25, 2022 2:58 am PST by
An Apple engineer has addressed the lack of lossless audio support in the second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview. Current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple's audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple has previously hinted that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard that builds on AirPlay and supports higher quality...
maxresdefault

Nothing Phone 1 Displays AirPods Battery Level After Latest OS Update

Friday November 25, 2022 3:33 am PST by
Nothing Phone 1 users today began receiving the Nothing OS 1.1.7 update, which adds support for displaying the battery percentage of connected AirPods, amongst other improvements and bug fixes. If you own a Nothing Phone 1, you can check for the OTA update by going to Settings -> System -> System updates. Bear in mind that as support for displaying AirPods battery level is still an...
new airpods lineup black friday

Best Black Friday AirPods Deals Still Available

Tuesday November 22, 2022 10:01 am PST by
Although we've been tracking Black Friday deals for a few weeks now, the shopping holiday is officially kicking off this week and we're highlighting the best sales for each of Apple's product lines. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on AirPods 2, AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors....
Manchester United flag

No, Apple Isn't Planning to Buy Manchester United

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:19 pm PST by
Apple is not currently planning to purchase Premier League club Manchester United, according to a source familiar with the matter. A report earlier today from British tabloid The Daily Star claimed that Apple had expressed an interest in buying Manchester United for around $7 billion, but our source with direct knowledge of the situation said the report is false. Manchester United has...