At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple launched a new feature called “Voice Control” with a touching video spot in which former cyclist Ian Mackay, who was left wheelchair-bound after a bike crash, going about his day with the help of the new feature.
Voice Control allows iPhone and Mac users to fully control every aspect of their device by speaking.
The spot shows Ian directing his computer and phone to open apps, scroll and write and send messages. In place of having to click, Voice Control shows him a numbered list of options to choose from. Using the new feature, Ian is able to schedule a meet-up with his friend in the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest by selecting an area on the map on his computer then texting the location to his friend.
Known for mixing technology with emotion, Apple further demonstrated the various ways that its features help people overcome accessibility obstacles via additional narrative video spots via the company’s Accessibility page.
In one, a blind musician and father uses the Text to Speech feature to identify ingredients and cook dinner for his family. Another shows a band teacher use Live Listen, which lets her stream the classroom’s music from her iPad and into her iPhone hearing aids to hear more clearly.
In 2016, Apple used a similar approach to marketing its Accessibility features in another purpose-driven spot that shows a real editor, who has cerebral palsy, edit the same spot using the pads on her wheelchair to control the program. In it, she says, “When technology is designed for everyone, it lets anyone do what they love—including me.”
Apple has a long history of using its products to show support for important causes. For 12 years, it has been the largest corporate contributor to (RED), an organization that raises awareness and funds in the fight against AIDS. The company launched a (PRODUCT)RED line of devices as well as (RED)-themed exclusive game content.
Despite delivering its “strongest iPad growth in six years,” Apple’s Q2 earnings amounted to $58 billion, a 5 percent decline YoY, and revealed that quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.46 are down 10 percent.