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Eye Talk

Enabling Engineering

The Need

There are approximately 50,000 people in the United States and more in the rest of the world that suffer from a condition known as Locked-in-Syndrome or LIS. LIS is a neurological disorder causing complete paralysis with the exception of the eyes typically caused by stroke or brain trauma. There currently exists a few very expensive, invasive or ineffective solutions to help LIS patients communicate. The current solution space is in need of a product that is inexpensive, easy to use and allows patients to effectively communicate and interact with others.

The Solution

Our solution to this problem is a webcam-based eye tracking communication software with the ability to run on any laptop operating system with an integrated or attached webcam. The system maps the user’s gaze to specific location on screen and allows them to select buttons in a specially designed user interface. It makes use of machine learning and neural networks in order to calibrate and train itself to each user. The user interface allows the user to select a number of preset phrases as well as use an adapted keyboard with word completion to construct any word or phrase. The preset phrases include the categories yes/no, how they are feeling, where they would like to go, an attention bell, greetings, some entertainment. Once a final word or phrase is selected, the system uses text-to-speech to output the created text as audible speech or it can send a text message.