New eBay App Makes Shopping Easier For iPhone X Owners, HeadGaze Improves Accessibility For All Users

A new eBay app for the iPhone X may help physically impaired users lives easier with cutting-edge new accessibility features.

A user browses the eBay service.
Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

A new eBay app for the iPhone X may help physically impaired users lives easier with cutting-edge new accessibility features.

Shopping on eBay was just made easier as the e-commerce giant announced their brand new HeadGaze.

eBay announced the technology with an official blog post on their website. The post goes into great detail on the features the new augmented reality software will offer up, including the ability to pair with the iPhone X camera and Apple’s ARKit to best serve their customers — particularly those with accessibility issues.

The app will track head movements and then translate those movements into commands for their smartphone to follow. The program creates an on-screen cursor that the user can control via their movements.

For example, if a prospective user wanted to turn the page on a e-book, they could do so by hovering the cursor over the button. If they wanted to scroll up or down on the screen, they can do so by moving the cursor to particular parts of the screen.

That means app users can browse and purchase items on their phone relying solely on head movements, making shopping more readily available for users with mobility concerns.

HeadGaze was developed and engineered with folks who suffer from mobility issues in mind.

Muratcan Cicek, eBay intern, UCSC Ph.D. candidate, and leading force in the development team for HeadGaze — is hindered by mobility issues himself.

Cicek suffers from extensive motor impairments that prevent him from having complete control over his limbs.

He told VentureBeat the team worked on incorporating movements of all sorts into the system, and perhaps most importantly for those with serious motor impairments, the ability for the hardware and software combination to track eye movements.

While the HeadGaze app will help those with mobility issues, Cicek affirmed the program can be useful for anyone who wishes to use it.

“HeadGaze enables you to scroll and interact on your phone with only subtle head movements — think of all the ways that this could be brought to life,” he said.

“Tired of trying to scroll through a recipe on your phone screen with greasy fingers while cooking? Too messy to follow the how-to manual on your cell phone while you’re tinkering with the car engine under the hood? Too cold to remove your gloves to use your phone?” Cicek gave the pitch to VentureBeat.

In an effort to help as many people as possible, eBay released the source code for the program to GitHub so other developers can look into the software and refine it further, making it more accessible.

While the technology is currently only available for the for iPhone X, it’s more than likely it will soon become available for the upcoming range of Apple products.