How Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Universal Gestures help people with disabilities

The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a nice piece of wearable tech that has improved over the years. The latest improvements include Universal Gestures, and Samsung is shining a light on how this Galaxy Watch feature can help people with disabilities. Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) and while those of us without a disability may never use Universal Gestures, they can be useful for those who do have a disability.

Designed to empower individuals with a touch-free experience through simple and intuitive movements, Universal Gestures was introduced as part of the One UI 5 Watch update. Universal Gestures offers users an alternative to the interactions needed to operate the device, all without lifting a finger or pressing a button. With four distinct gestures – Make Fist, Make Fist Twice, Pinch and Double Pinch – users can navigate their Galaxy Watch in ways that work best for them.

Turning on Universal Gestures on your Galaxy Watch is fairly straightforward.

  • Go to settings
  • Select Accessibility
  • Scroll to interaction and dexterity
  • Tap to turn on Universal Gestures

Once the Universal Gestures feature is enabled, your Galaxy Watch will indicate it with a customizable colored outline, allowing you to utilize this intuitive mode for a tailored and accessible experience. Within Universal Gestures, the Make Fist gesture simplifies the process of selecting and opening items on the Galaxy Watch.

Make Fist Twice gesture unveils the Action menu, which is an array of convenient options accessible right from your wrist. Imagine this menu as a toolbox packed with essential tools, such as opening the apps menu, going to the previous screen and displaying recent apps, readily available whenever you need it. The Action menu is also dynamic, adjusting its content based on whichever screen is currently open when the user activates the Action menu. When you are ready to select the item, simply make a fist.

The Pinch and Double Pinch gestures on the Galaxy Watch offer new touch-free ways for users to interact with their Galaxy Watch, which are especially beneficial for individuals facing mobility limitations. With these two gestures, you can navigate from one item to another or go back to the previous item.

Scroll through your messages, browse your calendar items or peruse your photo album – these are all made possible with the Pinch gesture.

Accessibility is about removing barriers and delivering seamless experiences to everyone. That is why Universal Gestures offers users intuitive control over their Galaxy Watch. For instance, Samsung Galaxy users can easily change any of the actions of these four gestures, further personalizing their device to better serve their needs.