How ‘People Detection’ Accessibility Feature Works on iPhone 12 Po

Currently only available on the iPhone 12 Po and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple’s new People Detection accessibility feature can notify a user who is blind or has a low vision about people who are approaching. It uses the new LiDAR sensor to detect how close other people are (via ComputerWorld).


In addition to the LiDAR sensor, People Detection exploits Apple’s accessibility technologies, on-device artificial intelligence and the Neural Engine, People Occlusion in ARKit, and VoiceOver. 

To use People Detection, simply hold your iPhone in front of you and the device will tell you when it sees a person, give you a description of them, “a child,” for example, and inform you as to how far away they are. As you approach someone, it will continue to explain the distance between you.

To enable People Detection, follow these steps:

  1. Update your iPhone 12 Pro / iPhone 12 Pro Max to iOS 14.2
  2. Go to Settings > Accessiblity section.
  3. Now enable Magnifier and VoiceOver.
  4. Once enabled, you just need to open the Magnifier app, tap the People icon, and the app will use your camera to identify any people it sees in the view.

For social distancing, People Detection also lets you set a distance threshold so you’ll be warned by two audio tones if someone gets too close.

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