Technology to make accessing the computer is one area of assistive technology that has made great strides in recent years. From the popularity and now mainstream use of Dragon Naturally Speaking and the option to only use one’s mouth and breath. The next area of computer access technology that is poised to take off is the idea of using one’s eyes to control the computer.
You may see this concept titled eye control or eye gaze; both of these terms, from a disability standpoint, are intended to achieve the ability to control a computer for an individual who cannot by way of hands, head, voice, feet, or mouth. Like most technology that reaches the masses, the idea of using only your eyes to control the computer has a long history, dating back to the early 1980’s.
With the opportunity to receive a demonstration from a Tobii representative and the recent purchase of the Tobii PCEye Go, I have had the chance to use this system and also have had end users give it a go. The setup of the device is user friendly in that the software walks you through all of the aspects to include determining screen size and proper placement of the tracking device. The software also provides you with constant on-screen feedback on eye position and recommendations on where you need to physically be to make the interaction most efficient. The ability to customize the use for an individual to include adding a switch to make clicking actions is also useful.
Final thoughts on this device are that it very well could be the answer for someone. Support with training and troubleshooting most likely will be a necessity as there are upgrades to the software and firmware on occasion. The cost is somewhat prohibitive at this time but as we see with most technology, that barrier changes over time. Take a look at the video below to see how the device works and let IPAT know if you would like to give it a try.