Eye-Tracking Advances in Medicine
On April 6, 2011 BYU announced that students there had developed an affordable eye-tracking tablet to help people with disabilities in partnership with EyeTech Digital Systems as part of a year-long engineering project.
The tablet the s
tudents created in an impressive system given its size (2’ think, 10’ long by 14’ wide) and considering it runs Windows 7 and has an eye-tracki
ng system built in. The price makes the device even more incredible; by using off-the-shelf parts the students were able to drive the cost under $1,500.00. This makes the device much more accessible to people who need it because of physical limitations, previously available systems were bulkier and cost upwards of $14,000.00.
The tablet allows the user to control the mouse cursor with eye movements, with blinks serving as clicks. The device can run a large number of programs, including Skype; allowing people to stay connected with far-away friends and family.
The creation of this device is an important milestone in creating measureable improvements to the lives of people with disabilities, but it also opens up a tremendous world of possibilities that are not limited to quality-of-life improvements. Devices like this, based on tracking eye movements have applications that range from the entertaining world of video games that respond to eye movements to medical applications in the field of physical therapy and even applications in advertising.