By Kalwinder Kaur
A newly-developed cost-effective device enables individuals affected with spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s, amputees, multiple Sclerosis, or muscular dystrophy to interact with their computers and surroundings through their eyes.
The novel device is made out of readily available materials. By precise tracking of the eye movements, the device operates and controls a cursor on a screen similar to a computer mouse.
The technology includes “smart” software and an eye-tracking device. It has been presented in the 13 July-dated IOP Publishing’s Journal of Neural Engineering. Demonstration of this device’s function was performed by Imperial College London researchers, wherein a group of individuals were made to play a handset- free classic computer game Pong. This device can also enable its users to browse the web and also write emails “hands-off”.
The GT3D device comprises two fast video game console cameras equipped to a pair of glasses beyond the line of vision. The cameras will capture the pictures of the eye constantly. It functions from where the pupil is pointing. Using this inspiration, the researchers used a set of calibrations to work out precisely where a person points his/her eye on the screen.
However, more detailed calibrations were used to work out the 3D image of the subjects that include even the distance of vision. Based on this function, individuals can control a robotic prosthetic arm or also control an electronic wheelchair by just looking at the destination point.
This eye-tracker’s functional capabilities were demonstrated through the already mentioned video game ‘Pong’. In this game, using his/ her eyes, the individual can move a bat to hit a ball bouncing around the screen. This incredible achievement was not possible even with read-out mechanisms like brain waves (EEG).
Consuming just 1W of power, this commercially viable device can wirelessly transmit data into any Windows or Linux computer over Wi-Fi or via USB.
Even ‘Midas touch problem’ was successfully solved using the GT3D system. Using just their eyes, users can just click on an item on the screen.
The researchers calibrated the system wherein a simple wink represents a mouse click, instead of blink which occurs voluntarily.