Boy tries out Sesame Enable.

In the Arabian Nights story, whenever Ali Baba shouts “Open Sesame,” the door to the den of the Forty Thieves opens. But for the 10 beta testers of the Sesame phone, uttering that phrase means unlocking their smartphones without the use of their hands. Once the touch-free phone is active, users merely have to move their heads to control the cursor on screen. And yes, they can do anything a smartphone’s capable of, including sending messages and emails, taking/making calls and downloading apps. They can even play games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush by using head gestures. Once they’re done, they simply have to say “Close Sesame” to lock their phones again.

The touch-free smartphone is actually a modified Nexus 5, installed with the Sesame software (on top of the Android platform), which is the one that recognizes voice commands and head gestures through the front-facing camera. This software works only with the Nexus 5 for now, but its developers plan to bring it to other devices in the near future. Speaking of developers, Sesame was created by Israeli veteran Giora Livne, who’s been a quadriplegic for past nine years, along with Oded Ben Dov, who once developed a gesture-controlled mobile game. Livne got tired of not being able to send texts or emails on his own ever since he lost control of his limbs, so when he saw the app developer on TV demonstrating a game controlled with head gestures, he challenged Oded to make a hands-free phone with him.

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