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June 18, 2019

Comcast's new eye-control feature to assist cable customers with physical disabilities

Eye gaze technology allows users to control the TV remote sans thumbs

Wellness Disabilities
comcast eye control disabilities Source/Comcast

Pictured is Philly resident Jimmy Curran trying the X1 eye control technology.

Slowly, the world is becoming more and more accommodating to individuals with special needs — allowing them to function more easily and independently.

To that avail, it was Comcast on Monday launched a free feature that will allow the more than 48 million Americans with physical challenges — like spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — the ability to, essentially, use their eyes instead of a remote control.

Xfinity X1 eye control, a "web-based remote for tablets and computers that pairs with an existing eye gaze system, makes it possible for viewers to change channels, set recordings and search content" – all with a glance, according to the Philadelphia-based cable company.

RELATED READ: Comcast is latest corporate giant to jump on the health tech train

Additionally, users will be able to launch the X1 sports app, access controls for closed captioning video description and voice guidance. The feature will even enable users to type out commands or searchers with their gaze, according to Comcast.

Xfinity customers can access eye control by pairing the web-based remote with their set-top box.

Comcast’s announcement cites the story of Jimmy Curran, a Philadelphia resident living with spinal muscular atrophy — which affects his nervous system — as one of the first customers to try out the new technology.

You can watch Curran utilizing the technology here.

“When you make a product more inclusive you create a better experience for everyone and we’re hoping our new X1 feature makes a real difference in the lives of our customers,” said Tom Wlodkowski, vice president accessibility for Comcast.

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