Indus Gets Accessibility Features With Support From Google's AI-Powered Project Gameface

Google’s AI-Powered Project Gameface will add accessibility features to Indus, an Indo-futuristic battle royale due out next month, with its AI facial gesture recognition tool allowing players to use facial movements and gestures for in-game actions such as movement, shooting, and aiming sights. Pune developer SuperGaming configured this tool specifically for Indus; users can move the mouse cursor by raising or lowering eyebrows; opening and closing their mouth will trigger sprint and shoot actions respectively. making Indus the first game offering this feature; the announcement was made at the Google India I/O developers conference held in Bengaluru this past February.

Lance Carr, a quadriplegic video game streamer, conceptualized this project to help himself play games more easily. The tool uses webcam recognition of facial expressions and gestures and emulates them with mouse cursor movement. Users can customize how many actions they want to control using an intuitive UI which lets them assign mouse shortcuts for every facial expression as well as select which axes of their mouse control with which face and head movements.

Google announced on March 7 that they have joined with Indian gaming community to bring Gameface to more gamers, along with an animated mini-documentary from Wes Anderson-esque filmmaker Carr and her inspiration behind its technology. Carr also discussed her Indus Civilisation roots which thrived around 2500 BCE across modern Pakistan and northern India and included Harappa and Mohenjo-daro which are both now UNESCO World Heritage sites, with artefacts including stamped seals, terracotta figurines and one of longest written texts ever.

Tragically, the Indus River dolphin has become endangered. This small cetacean can only be found in south-central Pakistan on the Indus River and its tributaries where pollution from wastewater discharges and agricultural activity affect their immune systems, diminishing their feeding abilities. Vessel strikes are also common and may injure or kill the dolphins in this region.

India and Pakistan have recently attempted to leverage their treaty through reviewing of the Indus Waters Treaty, but whether this has any bearing on dolphin populations remains to be seen. Some experts and former foreign ministers have suggested that India can leverage this leverage by undertaking hydro-electric projects in disputed tributaries of the Indus – these would allow access to western tributary waters without violating treaty with Pakistan; this, however, may take time as political settlement must first take place; until that occurs it’s essential that steps be taken by India towards protecting environmental preservation of Ghaggar-Hakra systems and its surrounding riparian areas.

By Macpie

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