THE EYEGAZE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
A communication and control system you run with your eyes
THE EYEGAZE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
Who's using the Eyegaze System?
Eyegaze Systems are in use around the world. Its users are adults and children with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, ALS, multiple sclerosis, brainstem strokes, muscular dystrophy, and Werdnig‑Hoffman syndrome. Eyegaze Systems are being used in homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and long‑term care facilities.
How does the Eyegaze System work?
As a user sits in front of the Eyegaze monitor, a specialized video camera mounted below the monitor observes one of the user's eyes. Sophisticated image‑ processing software in the Eyegaze System's computer continually analyzes the video image of the eye and determines where the user is looking on the screen. Nothing is attached to the user's head or body.
How does the user run the Eyegaze System?
A user operates the Eyegaze System by looking at rectangular keys that are displayed on the control screen. To "press" an Eyegaze key, the user looks at the key for a specified period of time. The gaze duration required to visually activate a key, typically a fraction of a second, is adjustable. An array of menu keys and exit keys allow the user to navigate around the Eyegaze programs independently.
What skills does the user need?
∑ Good control of one eye
∑ Ability to keep his head still in front of the camera
∑ Some reading or word recognition skill
How do you calibrate?
A 15-second calibration procedure is required to set up the System for a particular user. To calibrate, the user fixes his gaze on a sequence of small circles that the system displays on the Eyegaze screen. There is no need to recalibrate if the user moves away from the Eyegaze System and returns later.
What can the user do with Eyegaze?
The Main Menu appears on the screen as soon as the user completes a 15-second calibration procedure. The Main Menu presents a list of available Eyegaze programs. The user calls up a desired program by looking at the Eyegaze key next to his program choice.
Main Menu Screen
The Phrases program, along with the speech synthesizer, provides quick communications for non‑verbal users. Looking at a key causes a preprogrammed message to be spoken. The Phrases program stores up to 126 messages, which can be composed and easily changed to suit the user.
Simple word processing can be done using the Typewriter program. The user types by looking at keys on visual keyboards. Four keyboard configurations, simple to complex, are available. Typed text appears on the screen above the keyboard display. The user may "speak" or print what he has typed. He may also store typed text in a file to be retrieved at a later time. The retrieved text may be verbalized, edited or printed.
The Run Second PC program permits the Eyegaze Communication System to act as a peripheral keyboard and mouse interface to a Windows computer. The user can run any off‑the‑shelf software he chooses on the second computer. He can access the Internet, and send e-mail by looking at keyboard and mouse control screens on the Eyegaze monitor. The programs being run are displayed on the second computerís monitor. Typed text appears simultaneously on the Eyegaze and second pc's screens. Keyboard choices are the same as the Typewriter's.
Mouse Control Screen
The Lights and Appliances program, which includes computer-controlled switching equipment, provides Eyegaze control of lights and appliances anywhere in the home or office. No special house wiring is necessary. The user turns appliances on and off by looking at a bank of switches displayed on the screen.
Lights and Appliances Screen
The Telephone program allows the user to place and receive calls. Frequently used numbers are stored in a telephone "book". Non‑verbal users may access the speech synthesizer to talk on the phone.
Telephone Control Screen
The Read Text program allows the user to select text for display and "advance to the next page" with his eyes. Any ASCI format text can be loaded for the user to access. Books on floppy disk are available from Services for the Blind.
Television programs can be displayed directly on the desktop Eyegaze System screen. On-screen volume and channel controls provide independent operation. (Not available on the Portable Eyegaze System.)
What is Available for Children?
Two new Eyegaze programs have been added to the Eyegaze System. Both run with the Second PC option. Eye Switch is a big, basic on-screen switch to run "cause & effect" software programs on a Second PC. Simple Mouse is an easy mouse control program to provide simplified access to educational software on a Second PC.
Is There Anything for People with Limited Eye Control?
Scanning Keyboard is our new row/column keyboard with an on-screen eye "switch" for people with limited eye movement. The switch can be placed on either side, above, or below the keyboard to accommodate users with only horizontal movement, or only vertical movement. The user may "speak" what he has typed.
Can the Eyegaze System be customized?
Yes. The Eyegaze programs have many adjustable parameters. The gaze duration, phrases, telephone message and appliance labels, for example, can all be easily changed. An assistant or caregiver may edit the Eyegaze text or change Eyegaze data values by running a configuration program.
What environment does Eyegaze need?
Because eyetracking is done using infrared light, the Eyegaze System should be used away from uncovered windows and other sources of bright outside light, in order to ensure the best accuracy.
Is there a Portable Eyegaze System?
The Portable Eyegaze System can be mounted on a wheelchair and run from a 12-volt battery or wall outlet. It weighs only 6 lbs (2.7 kg) and its dimensions are 2.5"x8"x9" (6.5cm x20cm x23cm). The Portable Eyegaze System comes with a flat screen monitor and a table mount for its monitor. The monitor can be lifted off the table mount and slipped into a wheelchair mount.
Wheelchair mounts for the Portable Eyegaze System are available from Daedalus Technologies Inc.
Portable Eyegaze System Mounted on Wheelchair
Where can we see an Eyegaze System?
There may be a System in your area that is available to the public. Eyegaze Systems are in some rehabilitation hospitals, technology centers and schools that welcome people to visit and try out Eyegaze. You are welcome to come to our facility to see and try an Eyegaze System.
If travel is difficult for the client, you can schedule one of our registered nurses to do an evaluation. We'll set up an Eyegaze System in your home, office, or school, and work one-on-one with the client to assess the potential for Eyegaze to provide a good solution for him.
EYE POWER!! Run a computer with your EYES!!