Eyegaze Edge: Empower completely paralyzed victims to interact with the world

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Eyegaze Edge enables to bring remarkable independence to people who suffer from Locked-in Syndrome (LIS) and disability to control their bodies.

Locked-in patients now have chance to exchange information with people

Locked-in syndrome refers to a condition in which victims suddenly disable to control their physical body movement despite the fact that they are fully conscious and aware of the world. In other words, they have no ability to produce movements or to speak in exception with eye movement such as blinking, opening or closing their eyes. It is said that those victims are isolated themselves from environment outside. Along with a global campaign for Brain Awareness Week program, medical experts from the Royal London Hospital claimed that Eyegaze Edge might aid patients suffering from LIS to regain communication, exchanging information with other people as well as express their thoughts. Moreover, LIS patients even possibly use a computer or surf the Internet.

Within the United Kingdom, it is estimated that about 350.000 citizens, including the mental disabled, stroke patients and or people having movement neuron defect, who are in need of assistance in their daily activities.

For victims in this group, the eye is the only organ which they can control contineously without tiredness or fatigue.  Eyegaze Edge utilizes ultraviolet to identify spots at which the LIS patient is looking. The new technology takes advantage of lighting reflection which comes out of a spherical shaped-object. In this case, pictures of objects would be visualized and reflected clearly in lens. Eyegaze Edge would effectively determine and navigate exactly the location of the spot concentrated on the monitor.

In detail, the whole procedure allows LIS victims to control a computer mouse by eyes when they look at a specific position on the monitor. Furthermore, patients even possibly surf the Internet through any web browser and communicate with people by use of eye to “type” words on touch keyboard. Marc Viera, a technical guide at Royal London Hospital said “The method is seemingly abnormal because people usually tend to roll their eyes to see what happen in surroundings. Therefore, it will take time for a LIS patient to get familiar with staring at one spot long enough”. Users might not remain looking at a location over 20 minutes for the first time; however, they would get used to controlling their eyes to concentrate on a point, he added.

PA