iOS 14: haptic feedback for sounds like fire alarms, sirens, crying babies and more

Apple’s award-winning accessibility technologies will be taken to the next level in the major upcoming iOS 14 software update which has been discovered to include a cool new feature designed to detect potentially important sounds in one’s environment.

According to 9to5Mac yesterday, based on the leaked iOS 14 code, this new assistive technology is an accessibility feature primarily designed to prompt people with hearing loss about potentially actionable sounds in their environment, including important sounds such as:

  • Crying babies
  • Door knocks
  • Doorbells
  • Fire alarms
  • Sirens

“Presumably, iOS will translate these alerts into haptics for people who have hearing loss,” the report speculated. Author Michael Potuck was able to get some curious thoughts on this new feature from accessibility expert Will Sigmon:

Something that I get concerned about, when I am sleeping, especially, is my ability to hear important noises like these listed. I have high-frequency hearing loss, so sometimes, things like sirens elude me. This would be an amazing companion to have whenever a loved one is not with me to inform me.

Other major changes for Accessibility in iOS 14 reportedly include:

  • Running an audiogram on-device to help tune the audio performance
  • Hand gesture detection via the built-in camera
  • Improved AirPods/EarPods audio tuning for people with mild to moderate hearing loss

Apple should preview the upcoming iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOC 10.16, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14 updates at its Worldwide Developers Conference that should take place this summer. However, it’s looking increasingly likely that a physical gathering in San Jose could be cancelled in favor of virtual meetings and presentations due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

How do you like this new accessibility feature coming in iOS 14?

Let us know in the comments!