Apple Watch ‘double tap’ feature is completely hands-free

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Apple announced at its major event on Tuesday that its new Apple Watch Series 9 would have a new feature called double tap. It’s pretty neat: It requires just two fingers and zero touching of the device itself.

A user will just have to tap their thumb and forefinger together twice to do things like answer calls, hang up, or perform other actions controlled by the primary button in an app, such as stopping a timer, snoozing an alarm, or pausing music. A bunch of different readings allow the Apple Watch to know the user is making the double tap gesture.

“This new double tap gesture is enabled by the faster Neural Engine in Apple Watch Series 9, which processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine learning algorithm,” Apple explained in a press release. “The algorithm detects the unique signature of tiny wrist movements and changes in blood flow when the index finger and thumb perform a double tap.”

The new feature could make the Watch more usable and accessible for folks, especially in moments when users might have just one hand free, like when carrying a coffee, walking a dog, or performing another such task.

The new Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $399, can be pre-ordered from Sept. 12, and will begin to be available on Friday.

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