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Communication by Gaze Interaction

Project description

eInclusion The eyes have it: communication for the severely disabled

Thanks to an ongoing European-based project, seriously disabled people now have access to cheaper tools that allow them to communicate by using their eye movements.

In Europe alone, an estimated 500,000 people are only able to communicate or send out signals by moving their eyes, a task that requires highly specialised hardware and software.

The COGAIN project is a ‘network of excellence’ designed to organise European research in eye-tracking integration using computers.

Establishing a sustainable network for sharing training resources and standards among the various laboratories enables researchers to develop new technologies and systems more efficiently. The researchers hope to improve existing gaze-based interaction techniques, and push forward the implementation of such technologies for everyday communication.

Developing eye-gaze technologies

The teams are concentrating on the use of eye-gaze technologies for communication, for mobility, and for environmental control. For example, the technologies could allow a disabled person to control a wheelchair or command an intelligent home system by eye movement alone.

Until recently, such tools were not available to many of those who needed them because of the high cost of the eye-control equipment, and the lack of suitable, compatible applications. Even those who were able to afford eye-control systems found them difficult to use. The current systems are also only capable of performing limited functions.

The project’s researchers are now coordinating themselves in order to better solve these problems, and to develop new and cheaper technologies. They aim to give the most disabled members of society communication and command tools they can use to control computers, or access the internet, for example.

More than 100 researchers from research groups and companies in 11 countries are concerned by the COGAIN networking efforts. Since the project kicked off in 2004, they have already managed to come up with some promising new eye-tracking technologies.

These allow text to be quickly created by eye-typing, which usually involves the user pointing his or her eyes at a section of a grid of keyboard displayed on a computer screen. Users are also able to switch between screens and select from menus.

Full on-line control

Now, even paralysed people who are so incapacitated they also need a respirator to breathe are able to function normally in cyberspace. The system enables them to write and send e-mails and blogs, communicate by instant messaging, control on-line audio and visual feeds, play games and follow news and sports.

As well as making such technological breakthroughs, COGAIN’s researchers have contributed to reducing the price of access equipment by designing their system in a modular form and by standardising existing technologies.

They were able to do this by their ability to bring together and coordinate the knowledge, influence and market clout of the project’s partners.

New technologies pioneered under the COGAIN umbrella include Dasher, an information-efficient communications system driven by continuous pointing gestures. This can be via a regular mouse, by touch screen or by gaze direction.

Using Dasher, a disabled user can write anything, with well-predicted phrases being written the fastest. With practice, users can write at nearly 30 words a minute – or faster than most people can type – via a gaze-tracker device.

Predictive text entry

Another product developed by the project is the GazeTalk predictive text entry system, an eye-tracking-based system able to support several languages. It currently supports Danish, English, Italian, German and Japanese, and comes with e-mail and web-browsing capabilities and has a multimedia player and PDF readers.

Call for proposal

FP6-2003-IST-2
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

NoE - Network of Excellence

Coordinator

TAMPEREEN YLIOPISTO
Address
Kalevantie 4
33014 Tampere
Finland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 0

Participants (25)

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zürich
Activity type
Other
CESKE VYSOKE UCENI TECHNICKE V PRAZE
Czechia
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Jugoslavskych Partyzanu 1580/3
160 00 Praha
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAET zu LUEBECK
Germany
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Ratzeburger Allee 160
23562 Lubeck
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET DRESDEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Helmholtzstrasse 10
01069 Dresden
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
FORSKNINGSCENTER RISOE

Participation ended

Denmark
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Frederiksborgvej 399
4000 Roskilde
Activity type
Research Organisations
IT-UNIVERSITETET I KOEBENHAVN
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Rued Langgaards Vej
2300 Kobenhavn Nv
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
BISPEBJERG HOSPITAL
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Department Of Neurology Bispebjerg Bakke 23
2400 Koebenhavn Nv
Activity type
Other
HJAELPEMIDDEL INSTITUTTET
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Gregersensvej
2630 Taastrup
Activity type
Research Organisations
DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Anker Engelundsvej 1 Bygning 101 A
2800 Kgs Lyngby
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSIDAD PUBLICA DE NAVARRA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Campus De Arrosadia
31006 Pamplona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
METROVISION SAS
France
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Rue Des Platanes
59840 Perenchies
Activity type
Other
HEWLETT PACKARD ITALIANA SRL
Italy
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Via G Di Vittorio 9
20063 Cernusco Sul Naviglio Mi
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
POLITECNICO DI TORINO
Italy
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24
10129 Torino
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
TOKYO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Japan
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
2-12-2 Oh-okayama
152-8552 Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SIAULIU UNIVERSITETAS
Lithuania
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Vilniaus 88
LT-76285 Siauliu
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
VASTRA GOTALANDS LANS LANDSTING
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Regionens Hus
462 80 Vanersborg
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
PERMOBIL AKTIEBOLAG

Participation ended

Sweden
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Per Uddens Vag
861 23 Timra
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
TOBII TECHNOLOGY
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Karlsrovagen 2D
18253 Danderyd
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Ashby Road
LE11 3TU Loughborough
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
ACE CENTRE ADVISORY TRUST
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Windmill Road 92
OX3 7DR Headington, Oxford
Activity type
Research Organisations
DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
The Gateway
LE1 9BH Leicester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITY OF DERBY

Participation ended

United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Kedleston Road
DE22 1GB Derby
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EYETECH DIGITAL SYSTEMS INC.
United States
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
E Brown Road 2160 Suite 2
85213 Mesa Arizona
LC TECHNOLOGIES INC
United States
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Chain Bridge Road 1483 Suite 104
22101 Mc Lean