Truly hands-free smartphone gives people with disabilities control

Imagine using your smartphone without lifting a finger. That is the dream of Sesame Phone— a new device meant to help people with disabilities swipe through their apps without using their hands.

It uses the front-facing camera and facial recognition software to interpret head motions. If you move your head up, the cursor moves up; move it to the left and the cursor moves to the left. Every other function is voice-controlled, making it the first completely hands-free phone.

“Designed by people with disabilities for people with disabilities,” Sesame Enable, the company behind the phone, claims on their website. The idea is that the phone, a modified Google Nexus 5, can be used without assistance by a second person.

To turn the phone on, all you need to say is, “Open sesame” — literally. Those words start up the phone and the facial recognition software.

After that, users can control nearly every app that can be downloaded from the Google Play store. That means people who can’t use their arms or hands can text, browse the Web and play “Angry Birds” entirely through head motions and voice commands.

Even though the Sesame Phone was built with people with disabilities in mind, anyone can pre-order it for $900 through its Indiegogo campaign. The phone is expected to ship in March 2015.

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