What is it?
The Eyegaze Edge is an eye-operated communication and control system that empowers people with disabilities to communicate and interact with the world. By looking at control keys or cells displayed on a screen, a user can generate speech either by typing a message or selecting pre-programmed phrases. Eyegaze Edge Systems are being used to write books, attend school and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities all over the world.
Unique Features of the Eyegaze Edge
- Highly accurate – predicts a user’s gaze point to within 1/4 inch or less
- Not tiring – programs & hardware are designed to reduce or eliminate visual fatigue associated with eye-controlled systems.
- Fastest input – user-determined activation time can respond in as little as 1/10 of a second.
- Comfortable – a user can operate from any position, including side-lying or with the head tilted, without tilting the screen.
- Works with most eye variations – including extremely large or small pupils, nystagmus, or irregularly shaped pupils.
- Handles ptosis (drooping) of the eyelid – entire pupil does not need to be visible.
- Adjustable camera – the Eyegaze Edge can be positioned high or low with a focus range of 16 inches to 30 inches.
- Works in low light – will even track mostuser’s eyes in the dark.
- Provides off angle tracking – the user does not need to be parallel to the screen.
- Tracks through lenses – works with eyeglasses and most contacts.
A specialized video camera mounted below the Eyegaze Edge screen observes one of the user’s eyes. Sophisticated image processing software in the system analyzes the camera’s images 60 times each second and determines where the user is looking on the screen. Nothing is attached to the user’s head or body. A 15 second calibration procedure is required to set up the system for a particular user. To calibrate, the user looks at a small circles as it moves around the screen. There is no need to recalibrate if the user moves away from the screen and returns later. A user operates the system by looking at rectangular “keys” or cells that are displayed on the control screen. To “press” a key, the user looks at the key for a specified period of time. The gaze duration required to visually activate a key, typically about ½ second, can be adjusted by the user. An array of menu keys and exit keys allow the user to navigate the Eyegaze programs independently.
Eyegaze Edge users include adults and children with:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Locked-in Syndrome (brainstem stroke)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- SMA (Spinal muscular atrophy, Werdnig-Hoffman syndrome)
- Spinal cord injury
- Speech Synthesis
- Keyboard communication program
- Phrases quick communication program
- Adjustable table mount
- Settings program, Teach program
- Alternative keyboard
- Full one-year warranty and phone support
- On-site installation & three-hours training
- Software updates
The Eyegaze programs have many adjustable parameters. The gaze duration, phrases and appliance labels, for example, can all be easily changed. An assistant or caregiver may edit the text or change data values through the ECS Settings program. The optional Grid 2 program enables the user to create his own custom communication screens, which can be stored for continued use. Grids can be designed with pictures or text with any sized cell and offers features such as Kindle, Facebook, Internet and television control.