Fantastic films in which a person controls a computer without the help of hands become gradually a reality. It turns out that you can control your Mac even without a mouse, trackpad or keyboard, by teaching the cursor to follow your gaze. You may find this incredible. That is why in our walkthrough we will talk about how to control the computer cursor with a head movement, as well as adjust the available tracking parameters as we see fit.
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To control your Mac using head movement, you will need installed software in the form of macOS Catalina 10.15.4 or later, which is currently being tested and will be available later this month.
This feature is called Head Pointer. It is an auxiliary for those users who have problems using the mouse. I must say that a similar opportunity was present for some time on iOS. There it was called “Head Tracking” and it could be found in the menu Settings → Accessibility → Switch Control.
As with head tracking in iOS, Head Control in macOS uses the camera on your Mac laptop to monitor head movement and control the cursor.
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How to control the Mac cursor with a head movement
Follow the steps below to learn how to use the Head Control feature on macOS Catalina 10.15.4+ to control your Mac cursor with head movement.
1. Press the Apple menu, then select “System settings“.
2. In the window “System settings“Click the”Universal access“.
3. Select the “Pointer Management»In the left column by scrolling down the slider.
4. In the right part of the window, click on the tab with the inscription “Other management methods“To gain access to Mac’s new head-cursor control method.
5. Activate the item “Enable head cursor control»And configure its parameters:
- Cursor movement: Click the drop-down menu next to the name of this section, then set the tracking parameter to Head movementsso that the Mac cursor always moves relative to your head, regardless of the location of your face.
- Cursor speed: Click on the available text box, then enter the percentage of the Mac cursor or click the up / down arrow to increase / decrease the speed of the pointer in increments of one percent.
- Camera: Click on the menu next to the word “Camera”, then select the image processing device that will be used for the head pointer. By default, it will be a FaceTime camera built into your Mac laptop, but you can also use a webcam built into the Apple display, or even a separate external video camera connected to your computer.
- Distance to edge: Use this option to make the Mac cursor start moving earlier. Here you can easily change the amount required to fix the head movement, which will determine the beginning of the cursor movement. Just enter a new threshold (0-100 percent) in the box next to the text “Distance to the edge”.
- Switch to pause / resume head cursor control: with it, you choose how to enable or disable Head Control. To use this feature on an ongoing basis, be sure to clear this check box. Then the “Head Control” function will work all the time and cannot be disabled by pressing a key. If you want to use the function with the switch to pause and resume, select the required check box and you can start and stop this control method using the keyboard shortcut (F10 by default). To select a custom keyboard shortcut, click the “Reassign …“. To remove your own version and return to the standard combination, click the “Clear“.
6. Press the “OK”To return to the previous screen, and immediately start using the“ Head Control ”function with the current settings. If you click “Cancel“, Then the changes will be undone, and the window will close.
How to simulate a mouse click on a Mac using facial expressions of a user (smile, open your mouth, etc.)
macOS allows you to simulate mouse clicks using facial expressions. To enable this feature, open the application “System Settings”go along the way “Universal access” → Pointer Management → “Other ways of management” and check the box next to “Enable simulation of cursor actions”.
To assign actions that simulate a mouse click, click “Parameters”and then on the button “+”.
In the window that appears, select Facial expressions and press Further.
In the drop down menu Mimicry, select the option of facial expression: Smile, Open mouth, Raise eyebrows or Stick out tongue.
In the drop down menu “Act”, select the option for the mouse action to be performed after the mimic action: Left click, Right click, Double tap or Tug of war.