Samsung on Tuesday took the wraps off of its new eye tracking device dubbed ‘Eyecan+’ which will let people with disabilities to “compose and edit documents as well as browse the web through simple eye movement.”
Samsung has developed the new device in collaboration with Shin, a graduate student in computer science at the Yonsei University in Seoul. He was born with quadriplegia, or paralysed limbs.
The maker claims that the Eyecan+ will help paralysed people like Shin to interact with computers, using eye movements and blinking to perform common editing operations such as typing, copying and pasting, clicking, scrolling, or zooming in and out.
Sitting below the computer monitor, the portable, wireless device will respond to the eye movements of the users who must be 60-70 cm away from the screen. The Eycan+ will showcase a pop-up menu on the screen in one of two modes: rectangular menu board or floating menu wheel; both featuring 18 commands to choose from including “copy,” “paste,” and “select all,” as well as “drag and drop,” “scroll,” and “zoom in.” In addition, custom commands can also be created to include existing keystroke commands.
Samsung has confirmed it won’t be commercializing the Eyecan+ and will make only a few of the devices to donate to charity organizations. However, it will make its technology and design open source to allow for other groups and companies to commercialize the eye mouse, it said.
“Though EyeCan may seem like a simple device, we are hopeful it can help improve the quality of life for those suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and Locked-in syndrome (LIS),” the EyeCan team noted on its project page.
“We really enjoyed making the EyeCan, and since this is an open-source platform, we hope that more and more people will jump in to improve the device. EyeCan is currently not for sale. The EyeCan project team is providing only the technology. Our hope is that this technology can spread to reach people in need.”