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‘Open Sesame’: The touch-free smartphone operated by voice and head gestures only

Israeli developers have created the Sesame Phone to enable people without full-use of their hands to operate a smartphone more easily.

Saying “open Sesame,” unlocks the handset and then users simply have to move their heads to control the on-screen cursor.

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The device is capable of carrying out the full range of smartphone features from sending messages and emails to making calls and downloading applications. Users can also play games on the handset such as Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds using head gestures.

Essentially the device is a modified Nexus 5, which has the Sesame touch-free software running on top of the native Android operating system. The Sesame programme understands voice commands and uses the front-facing camera to recognise head gestures alone.

The platform has been created by developer Giora Livne and will hopefully be available on other devices in the near future. Livne had become frustrated at how difficult it was for him to send texts and emails since he became a quadriplegic nine years ago and tasked Oded Ben Dov to help him create a hands-free phone.

The technology should be a huge benefit for anyone suffering with paralysis in their upper body, as well as anyone suffering from ALS, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and other illnesses.

Anyone interested in owning the device can purchase a Sesame Phone package, including the Nexus 5 and bespoke software, through its Indiegogo page by pledging $350 (£221) or more.

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Should the Sesame Phone achieve its target of $30,000 needed to create a final working prototype, backers should receive the device by March 2015.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.