Samsung’s ‘eye mouse’, the Eyecan+, is a computer peripheral designed to help disabled and paralysed people control a computer with the movement of their eye alone. Eyecan+ allows the user to perform numerous different operations, including typing, copying and pasting, clicking, scrolling, and zooming. This portable wireless device sits below a computer monitor and can read eye motion from up to 70cm away.
Hyung-Jin Shin, a graduate student in computer science at Yonsei University in Seoul, was born with quadriplegia (paralysed arms and legs). Using the Eyecan + from his bed, he wrote the words “Nice to meet you all” on his computer screen. The student seemed proud that such a device was developed in his home country, saying, “I’m happy that eye mouse is developed in Korea. The eye mouse is not just an IT product, but limbs for the disabled. Hope this kind of research will continue.”
Not only do Samsung not intend to commercialise the project – planning to donate the devices to charities – the tech, design, and software will be made available open source, so anyone can use, develop, or modify their own ‘eye mouse’.
Set to help the disabled use computers with ease, Samsung’s eye-tracking technology will allow users to control their computers functionality without needing to handle a physical mouse.
Developed in-house by Samsung engineers, this technology is an advancement of their EYECAN system, a mouse control device utilized through glasses worn by the user. This updated technology is coined the EYECAN+ and enables you to simply look at where you wish to click and physically blink to activate commands and controls on your system. In their demonstrations, Samsung made sure to point out that you can type and perform ‘drag-and-stop’ commands with their new advancement – meaning you can perform simple tasks and play games such as Angry Birds.
This is reportedly not the first eye-tracking software to hit the market and quoted as not the best. However, Samsung are rumored to be making this a open-source style project, meaning other companies are able to gather and build on this technology, with a lot of the ‘hard yards’ already being completed by the Samsung engineering team.
This means that if it were to make it to the public (which Samsung is not planning to do), we could see this retail for an expected $150 in the local market. Further meaning that any person or carer should be able to purchase this device without too much difficulty, massively increasing their computer using abilities.