Well, this is a weird article. I never thought I’d be talking about Face Tracking and Google in a somewhat positive light. However, ChromeOS is currently implementing exactly that as a part of its ongoing AI improvements. Yes, you heard me right – your Chromebook will soon track your face, but not for the reasons you think.
Instead, this is being added as what seems to be an Accessibility setting under the cursor and touchpad settings. The listing, as shown off by C2 Productions in a post on X, displays the following description:
Control your cursor and keyboard with face movements
What is Face tracking on Chromebooks
My guess is that this will primarily be for users who have physical impairments and can’t or prefer not to use the mouse and keyboard with their hands. At this time, it seems that while the feature has been implemented into the Settings on ChromeOS version 120, it’s currently not functional.
How, exactly, this will work – especially when it comes to controlling the keyboard with your face – is entirely open to interpretation at this stage, and we’ll have to wait to see from Google what exactly this will entail.
ChromeVox is an accessibility tool on Chromebooks that currently lets you tag each on-screen element with a number. Then, by speaking that number with your voice, you’re able to select it like you would with a mouse click. You can actually navigate the entire operating system this way, and it’s pretty incredible.
If Google is planning to let you do something similar with your eyes, and just by looking at a number or spot on the screen, and perhaps customizing it greatly, this could be a game changer for many people looking to get into Chromebooks or use them more efficiently.
Why it matters
Adding more accessibility tools enables millions more people to become more efficient with the technology not only of today, but also of tomorrow. Computing is central to our lives, and while I don’t have any physical impairments that disallow me the use of a mouse and keyboard, I have spoken to many customers who have had this affect their lives. Google’s doing a lot wrong over the last decade, but one thing it’s doing extremely well is finding ways to get more people online and helping to transform their lives through the use of technology.