So this is what, a smart button?
A smart dial, designed to free your eyes!
I didn’t realise my eyes needed freeing. And free them from what?
From your smartphone, which has taken them over, apparently. The idea is to provide eyes-free gesture controls for your smartphone, helping you out you in those moments when you just can’t grab your phone and shove it in front of your face.
But can’t I just use Siri?
Sure. Although in the gym, when you’re huffing and puffing, do you want to be yelling “For crying out loud, Siri, I said Rolling Stones, not Kylie Minogue”? Or when you’re ambling about London, do you really want to be barking at your smartphone while onlookers give you ‘the look’?
Good point. So how does it work?
The little device connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth, and lets you use its various inputs to control your smartphone. There’s a dial for next/previous and scrolling through menus, a button for selections and play/pause, and a gesture area for other actions.
O6 dictates options as you make selections. The creator’s videos show a bunch of use cases, like acting as a handy remote through to an aid for people with limited vision. It also happens to work with virtually any app you already have installed.
Any app? Really?
OK, so you’re probably not going to use it to ironically play Need For Speed: Most Wanted eyes-free while zooming along the M1, but the creator’s videos show the device enabling fairly speedy navigation of the iOS Home screen and Facebook. The company also has its own O6 app, which brings a bunch of popular social channels into a single space to quickly navigate when in the car, or at other times when your eyes are otherwise engaged.
Like when you have to give someone loudly using Siri a really good stare?
OK, I’m sold. How can I buy an O6?
It’s currently funding on Kickstarter and looks likely to hit its goal. $89 gets you an ‘early bird’ place in line, and you can pledge a little extra for accessories such as steering wheel clips, wrist bands, and chargers. Note that it’s iOS-only at the moment, though the developers say an Android prototype’s already working and likely to be unveiled in the near future.