Eye Tracking Technology For Disabled
With some help from others the people who have various kinds of disabilities are able to live meaningful lives. Technology can also go a long way in helping individuals who have certain disabilities, because it is not on every occasion that there is someone to help an individual with disability. People who for instance suffer from a disability like quadriplegia find it extremely difficult to communicate. Most of the times such individuals have people that are close to them that are able to help them. Digital health has had many investments to improve the lives of the disabled, but has not made them completely independent. All that could however change with this new eye tracking technology for disabled (from Samsung).
EYECAN is an eye tracking technology developed by Samsung engineers. The technology allows the user to highlight a series of options using glances or looks, then clicking with a blink. This type of technology is able to give disabled individuals the ability to communicate independently. The technology is currently being tested in Seoul, Korea. A demonstration of how the technology works was done by Hyung Jin Shin of Yonsei University. He was born quadriplegic and he helped to test the technology and in the process also wrote the following message. In the message he said that when it came to digital technology there was nothing that could have a bigger impact on his life than EYECAN+. The whole message took about 20 minutes to type out (that included a typo that was quickly corrected). The technology was freedom and it had become his ‘’arms and legs’ according to him.
The only unfortunate information is that Samsung does not have plans to commercialize the product Due to the heavy expenses to manufacture; Samsung is now planning to make the technology open-source for further development. This would allow for more renovation without costly restrictions. It is significant to note that there are other technologies like Tobii, which offer similar eye tracking functionality. However they are more gaming focused rather than health driven. For all the individuals that have advanced disabilities, the continuation of eye tracking development gives hope for complete freedom for them. One can only hope that the costs for developing such precious technology shall continue to go down so as to enable companies like Samsung to commercialize them for the benefit of many.