Presenter: Kunal Parwani

Research Category: Engineering and Technology
Student Type: null
Additional Authors: Michael Harris, Qindeel Ishtiaq, Tuan Dao, Jae Kim, John Howard, Brian Shea
PI: Michael Harris

EyeTalk is an eye-tracking software application to assist patients with LIS to communicate basic needs; using their eyes to build phrases which can be read aloud. Locked In Syndrome(LIS) is a neurological disorder with complete paralysis of muscle movement except the eyes; thereby leaving the patient conscious but without any ability to communicate. There have been fifty-thousand cases of LIS in the US alone. In recent years, remedial communication products or software have been developed to help LIS patients to communicate. These products are expensive, usually include invasive hardware, caretaker assistance and are inaccessible to the patient. EyeTalk employs eye-tracking technology using user’s gaze via webcam, and the application determines the point user is looking at to select the button or keys on the screen. EyeTalk interface provides specially adapted keyboard, options to choose preset phrased, word completion, text-to-speech features to let the user “say out loud” their intended sentence. EyeTalk will utilize the laptop’s webcam to locate the user’s head, eyes and pupil and run a machine learning algorithm to calibrate the eye tracker. EyeTalk is unique in providing more accessibility to the user with simple cross-platform installation and intuitive interface with effective and accurate communication. This platform is bringing LIS patients one step closer to be able to participate in their world with seamless communication and minimal obstruction.