Isobar Uses Winks And Nods For New Google Glass App

Digital marketing agency Isobar has developed Tilt Control, a new app for Google Glass that lets wearers control the device hands free by tilting and nodding their heads and winking their eyes.

While the app is designed for everyone, it has particular promise for the physically disabled, say Isobar developers. Indeed, Google Glass was initially viewed as a huge leap forward for those with disabilities because of the device's voice control abilities. 

Now, Isobar's Tilt Control goes further by providing a menu of winking and nodding control options. "For those without disabilities, it gives everyone an easy hands-free way of checking recent notifications," says Mike DiGiovanni, Emerging Technology Lead, Isobar. "For those with disabilities, it opens up the entire interface of Glass to them."

Isobar plans to add Tilt Control to its portfolio of tools and services that it offers to all of its clients and will incorporate the technology into future projects. It was designed for maximum exposure after being developed pro bono as an internal labs project exploring wearables and accessibility. "We are sharing it with the media and across our owned platforms to help generate interest and more importantly get it in the hands of people with disabilities who can share feedback that can help us improve the app," says DiGiovanni. 

There are also possibilities for co-branded partnerships. "I see more of an opportunity for institutions to get involved than brands, per se. For instance, a center focused on rehabilitation would be a great partner in testing and advancing an app like this with real users overcoming physical disabilities," says DiGiovanni. 

Over the next several months, Tilt Control will evolve into a more user friendly app, says DiGiovanni. "It needs to be more customizable. In a few brief conversations with potential users with disabilities, I’ve come to realize that there will not be a one-size-fits-all for the gestures that Tilt Control uses. We need to build out ways for users to calibrate and decide which gestures they are most comfortable with." 

This story has been corrected. An earlier version mistakenly reported Tilt Control to be an app focused on voice activation. 

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