Comcast announced today a new feature of its Xfinity X1 cable platform meant to improve accessibility for persons with visual impairment and other forms of physical disabilities. The Xfinity X1 eye control basically allows users to change the TV channel, search for a show, set a recording, navigate menus on their cable box, and more by just using their eyes.
The web-based remote works on tablets and computers. It supports existing eye gaze tools, Sip-and-Puff switches, and other assistive systems on the market. Users will need to head over to the xfin.tv/access portal and link the X1 eye control to their cable box using their credentials. The web-based remote will then transmit a corresponding command to the TV based on the user's gaze.
Tom Wlodkowski, Vice President Accessibility at Comcast, said:
“Changing the channel on a TV is something most of us take for granted but until now, it was a near-impossible task for millions of viewers. 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.”
Comcast notes that there are more than 48 million people in the U.S. suffering from mobility disabilities such as spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The goal of the new X1 feature is to make the company's services easily accessible to these people.