New Apple Vision Pro-inspired double-tap gesture comes to Watch Series 9

New Apple Vision Pro-inspired double-tap gesture comes to Watch Series 9
Apple has just unveiled it's new Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches, and while the new S9 chipset (available on both watches) sure seems mighty, it sadly won't be enough to extend the battery life past the 18-hours "all-day" mark.

However, something else really cool that the S9 chip enables is a brand new gesture called Double-tap. The new double-tap gesture works by tapping the tips of your index finger and thumb... twice.

The observant among you would immediately note the similarity between this new double-tap gesture and the same index finger feat. thumb tap gestures that are expected to be used for interacting with the Apple Vision Pro, announced earlier this year.

The less observant among you can rewatch the Vision Pro promo video below to get a refresher:

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This new gesture is so important that Apple's made a special video to showcase how it works on the Watch S9. It's a pretty cool video – you can watch it here:

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It makes you wonder: is Apple looking to get us accustomed to this new way of interacting with its products, so that by the time the Vision Pro arrives next year, it already feels familiar? Hmm... Sneaky, sneaky Apple!

The new double-tap gesture can do a whole bunch of things – depending on the app you're running. Each Apple Watch application has a 'main' button, and the double-tap gesture is designed to 'tap' that main button. For example, in the music player, this is the Play/Pause button, so double-tap in the music player will do just that. When someone's calling you, double tap will answer the phone, while double-tapping in the middle of a call will end it.

Double-tap will also stop an alarm that's going off, it'll also start and pause a timer, as well as launch the smart widget stack from the watchface.

So, how does double-tap work? How does the Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 know when you're doing the double-tap gesture? To make it work reliably, Apple has been able to pull off some really clever tricks thanks to the new S9 chip: it's using data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and optical heart sensor, then uses machine learning to detect "the unique signature of tiny movements and changes in blood flow when your hand and fingers perform a double-tap". Seems like some pretty sophisticated technology hiding behind such a simple and subtle gesture!

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Apple COO Jeff Williams seems confident that double-tap will become an integral part of using an Apple Watch, which is a pretty ambitious statement. It does seem very useful, though, that's for sure.

Let us know what you think about this new double-tap gesture in the comments!

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