Low-Cost Alternative Multi-Device Interaction and Communication System for Eye and Face Tracking (INTERAAC)
The persons with neurodegenerative diseases, quadriplegia or cerebral palsy usually do not have effective control of their limbs, head and trunk necessary to control conventional computer peripherals (mouse, keyboard, and joystick), so they need alternative communication systems to interact. Usually they can just move the eyes in a controlled manner, thus the binocular video oculography systems (VOB), such as the Primma product of Irisbond S.L. are the only communication channels available for them. Nevertheless, despite its proven utility, these highly sophisticated systems have some disadvantages for the target sector. They require capacity to maintain the attention during the calibration process and they are dependent of persons movements. A pathology which benefit from this type of technology for communication is the cerebral palsy. This usually forms at the time of birth, so children use to have big difficulties to develop effective and agile communication channels. Moreover, at the age when they could use these systems (4-5 years old), sometimes is difficult to know if they are understanding what it is being communicated, due to cognitive problems, non-detected because of the lack of communication. Furthermore, being very little children, their attention capacity is very limited and it is difficult to make them concentrate in what they are doing in key moments for the correct use of VOB systems such as the initial calibration. For this reason it may take some time before the correct use of the systems.
The new system of VOB to develop during this project will use low cost cameras and lenses, without the need of using infrared light (IR) to accurately locate its reflections in the eyes and use them to accurately monitor the gaze. Thus, even though the cost of the hardware will be reduced, the difficulty to locate the necessary elements to define the direction of the user s gaze will be increased.
This program is funded by EU through the operational programme with the aim of "fostering quality technology development, innovation and research".