This is a hardware cum software design to allow the use of eyes to control a computer. The device is to be worn on the head and at present is modified from traditional Virtual Reality headsets. There is an algorithm that allows interpretation of the eye gaze detected on a camera on the hardware. The prototype has various features that serve clinical needs that are currently not met in the clinical area of alternative communication access methods with people with a physical disability. The current target users are people with a physical disability who have constraints in using existing commercially-ready products. The hardware and software can be further developed and able to interface it with various systems for additional functions.
Hardware prototype is modified from existing Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. 2 different brands of VR headsets have been tried to explore comfort and ease of modification.
Key advantages of modifying existing commercial VR headsets
2. High adaptability of software functions
Other features of hardware
1. Use of green light with a wavelength of 555nm to 600nm – which is more comfortable and ideal for long-term exposure to the eyes compared to infra-red light.
2. Potential to be marketed as an add-on part to existing commercial products to reduce the cost of entire headset
1. It uses an algorithm to interpret eye movements
2. Users are only required to select across 5 “lines” or “planes”
3. Quick command keys can be easily customizable to allow quicker access
4. Allow access to all features of the computer including typing, internet use etc.
Patients who are unable to speak and move their hands due to neurological conditions or medical issues often require alternative communication means eg. using their eyes to control a computer and type out messages.
Existing eye-tracking devices use cameras to capture the reflection of infra-red light emitted to the pupil of the eye and make predictions of selection on a screen. It requires the user to have a full range of eye movements to make a selection on a screen. As it uses an infra-red light, the device needs to be placed at a safe distance away from the eyes. It is also limited when there is a barrier/obstruction between the device and the user’s eyes; and when it is not positioned properly with specialised mounting systems.
This product serves to meet the following aims:
Benefits of this technology for the users:
1. Reduce dependence on communication partners
2. Increase independence and autonomy
3. Improve care outcomes