Technology plays a vital role in assisting those with disabilities and illnesses. Here on All Together Now we have examined how digital glasses allow people who have lost the use of their arms to use computers.
Technological developments to help those who struggle to use a computer are currently being tested by Microsoft. The company announced on their blog page that a software called Eye Control would be one of the key new support features for Microsoft Windows 10.
News and culture site The Verge report that Eye Control will allow people with neuromuscular diseases and other disabilities to control the interface elements in Windows 10 without using a computer mouse or keyboard. An eye tracker will allow users to select applications and type words by staring at the screen.
For example, one feature called ‘shape writing’ will allow users to quickly type words by selecting the first and last letter of the word and glancing at the letters in between. The programme will bring up a predicted word based on eye movements similar to predictive text on mobile phones.
Eye Control will require a third-party device called Tobii Eye Tracker. According to the official description of the Tobii Eye Tracker, the device works by using “a light source to illuminate the eye causing highly visible reflections, and a camera to capture an image of the eye showing these reflections. The image captured by the camera is then used to identify the reflection of the light source on the cornea (glint) and in the pupil.”
The Tobii Eye Tracker was initially designed to enhance video games on the PC. Popular video games such as the Tomb Raider game Rise of the Tomb Raider have incorporated the technology to make controlling Lara Croft much smoother and user-friendly.
The Tobii Eye Tracker Video (see below) demonstrates how players can use eye trackers to explore more of the environment and even aim weapons. The Tomb Raider franchise has always pushed the boundaries of the gaming industry. The original 1996 game inspired generations of video games and the franchise has expanded to non-traditional platforms through its officially licensed Tomb Raider slot game on Spin Genie. It is a credit to the franchise that it continues to make the character of Lara Croft available to as many different fans as possible.
As eye tracking technology develops, games could be played using eye tracking exclusively making the game available to people who cannot use game controllers or keyboards. In conjunction with the development of virtual reality technology the gaming industry is making big moves away from the conventional modes of playing. This is great news of fans of video games who have disabilities that make it difficult for them to play.
Eye-tracking technology has constantly been developed to help people with disabilities. Renowned scientist and writer Stephen Hawking uses advanced eye-tracking technology that allows him to communicate. Until now the technology has been expensive and out of the price-range for most people. Eye Control for Windows 10 will make the technology available for everyone.
The software is expected to be released next year along with the March 2018 Windows 10 update.