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Mobile Apps

eBay uses iPhone X camera to let people shop with a move of the head

The HeadGaze project is geared toward people with motor impairments.

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HeadGaze enables users to scroll up and down using subtle head movements. 

eBay

eBay wants to make shopping more accessible to people with disabilities.

The company has developed technology that uses Apple's ARKit and the iPhone X camera to track head movements, allowing for hands-free shopping. The open source project, dubbed HeadGaze, is available now on GitHub, an online community for sharing code.

"As someone with extensive motor impairments, I don't have full control of my limbs," Muratcan Cicek, an intern at eBay and one of the developers on the project, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "These limitations hinder my ability to perform everyday tasks, like going to the grocery store and shopping independently -- even though I have my own income."

eBay's test app using the technology lets people scroll and navigate on the iPhone with subtle head movements. For example, if you wanted to look at what deals are available today, you could point your head toward the up and down buttons and scroll to deals in different categories, according to the blog post. By pointing your head toward the left and right buttons, you can swipe items horizontally like in a carousel.

With the project, eBay joins other tech companies that're making an effort to help people with disabilities. Last month, Google said that it's working with GN Hearing to make a low-power hearing aid with streaming support that can connect with future versions of Android, which means people with hearing loss could pair and monitor their hearing aids from their Android devices.

In July, Microsoft announced its Xbox Adaptive Controller. It's designed to help gamers with disabilities join their friends in Xbox games.