Eye-Gaze Update: Motivating Potential Users

Use of eye-gaze technology has increased over the last few years. It is a way for individuals with little or no physical movement to control a computer screen by moving their eyes.

Fil McIntyre, one of BRITE’s Assistive Technologists, recently attended an event entitled Eye-Gaze Technology: From the Ground Up

Run by Tobii and hosted by KeyComm, the event was a chance to catch up on recent developments in this rapidly changing area of technology, while also revisiting some basics.

The focus for the day was about working towards a method of introducing users to eye-gaze which is both motivational and developmental. Until recently the dominant model of usage had been an on-screen grid which was used for communication (via electronic voice output) or control (e.g. on screen keyboard, mobile texts). 

Thanks to recent developments in the technology it is now possible to draw on screen with your eyes, or use games.  This is much more motivating for the novice user and follows the way we would introduce other assistive technologies i.e. learning to operate the device with enjoyable activities before introducing more functional usage.

Tobii also introduced the latest version of their eye-gaze system the PC-Eye (pictured).  This fits underneath a standard monitor and enables any PC to be controlled with the user’s eyes.

If you require independent help or advice, Fil has knowledge and experience of eye-gaze systems and can be consulted if students are considering whether eye-gaze is appropriate assistive technology for them. Contact him at BRITE for more information.

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