Apple Reveals 'Vehicle Motion Cues' Feature to Fight Carsickness

iphone in car
Apple Vehicle Motion Cues Is an Anti-Carsick ToolGannon Burgett - Car and Driver

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  • Today Apple has announced changes and additions to iPhone and iPad, including a feature for those who use either of the screened devices in a moving vehicle and struggle with carsickness as a result.

  • The "Vehicle Motion Cues" feature works via sensors that overlay animated dots around the screen edges while the vehicle is moving.

  • A larger, more easily viewed CarPlay menu is among other accessibility features Apple will be adding later this year.

Apple has announced a collection of new accessibility features it plans to add to iPhone and iPad devices in future versions of iOS and iPadOS, respectively. Among those features is an intriguing new experience called Vehicle Motion Cues, which is designed to reduce the risk of motion sickness when (hopefully only) passengers are reading or watching material on their devices.

"Research shows that motion sickness is commonly caused by a sensory conflict between what a person sees and what they feel," says Apple. "[This] can prevent some users from comfortably using iPhone or iPad while riding in a moving vehicle." To combat this, Vehicle Motion Cues will use sensors inside your mobile devices to overlay animated dots around the edges of your screen when the vehicle turning, accelerating, or braking.

an illustration showing off apple's new vehicle motion cues accessibility feature

As shown in the above graphic, the dots represent changes in vehicle motion by moving in the opposite direction from the motion. Turning left will cause the dots to glide across the screen to the right, assuming you're facing toward the front of the vehicle. Likewise, accelerating will cause the dots to move downward on the screen, and braking will cause the dots to move upward on the screen.

The feature can be set to automatically show the Vehicle Motion Cues when it detects you're in a vehicle or turned on manually every time you get in the car via Apple's Control Center overlay.

Voice Control, Sound Recognition Also Coming

Apple also revealed its CarPlay interface will gain a handful of new accessibility features, including Voice Control, Color Filters, and Sound Recognition, which Apple describes as follows:

With Sound Recognition, drivers or passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing can turn on alerts to be notified of car horns and sirens. For users who are colorblind, Color Filters make the CarPlay interface visually easier to use, with additional visual accessibility features including Bold Text and Large Text.

Apple doesn’t divulge when, exactly, we can expect to see these new accessibility features available on their mobile devices, but it's likely we'll see them integrated with iOS 18, which is expected to be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 10–11.

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