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Pixel 7 Makes Taking Selfies Easier for Blind, Low-Vision Users

A feature called Guided Frame uses audio and haptic cues to help people frame their selfies.

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The Pixel 7 includes a new feature called Guided Frame, which helps people who are blind or low-vision take selfies.
Google

Google is launching a new accessibility feature for Pixel phones designed to help blind and low-vision users take selfies. 

Called Guided Frame, the feature uses audio and haptic cues to give users exact guidance for framing their selfies. Once the user is in the "sweet spot," Guided Frame will automatically take the picture.

The feature uses Google's TalkBack screen reader technology, which speaks aloud text and images appearing on someone's screen.

When you're taking a selfie, Guided Frame will talk you through how to hold your phone to get the best shot. It might tell you to move the phone to the left or to the right, up or down, or closer to or farther from your face. 

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Victor Tsaran, Google's senior technical program manager for accessibility, was one of the user testers for Guided Frame. 

"What this feature allows me to do is be confident that the result I'm going to get will be a good one," he said.

Like all accessible tech, this feature can be helpful to anyone, Google notes. For example, if you can't see the camera wayfinder that easily when taking a selfie in the bright sunlight, Guided Frame could come in handy. It also eliminates the need to move your hand to click the shutter button, which could make taking selfies more seamless all around.

This is Google's latest effort to make its camera features more inclusive. In 2021, the company unveiled Real Tone on the Pixel 6, which portrays various skin tones more accurately.

The company wouldn't confirm whether Guided Frame will become available on other Android devices in the future, but Lingeng Wang, Google Hardware's lead technical manager of product inclusion & accessibility, said they're exploring that possibility.

"Guided Frame is only a baby step to help the selfie experience [be] more equitable, inclusive and accessible for blind and low-vision users," Wang said.

Google and other tech companies have been working to make a range of their products more accessible to people with disabilities. The search giant previously rolled out apps like Lookout, which helps people who are blind or low-vision identify food labels, find objects in a room and scan currency, as well as Project Relate, which is designed to help people with speech impairments more easily communicate with others. Apple also launched a People Detection feature in 2020 that lets blind and low-vision iPhone and iPad users know how close someone is to them, as well as a Door Detection feature earlier this year.