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Eye Tracking Device for HD Patients

Eye tracking devices measure our eye behavior and predict our gaze points or the locations of the objects in space that we look at. The Eye Gaze System is an eye-operated communication and control system that empowers people with Huntington’s disease and other disabilities to communicate and interact with the world. By looking at control keys or cells displayed on a screen, a user can generate speech by visually typing a message or selecting pre-programmed phrases. Currently, this technology is being used to write books, assist education and enhance quality of life of people with Huntington’s and other conditions. Patients with Huntington’s Disease (HD) have poor muscle coordination and mental decline and behavioral symptoms. The eye-tracking device is especially useful for later stage HD patients when communication is a challenge.

Generally, the Eye Gaze System has a specialized video camera mounted below the screen. The video camera observes one of the user’s eyes and the image processing software analyzes the images sixty times per second to determine where the user is looking on the screen. A user operates the system by looking at rectangular keys or cells that are displayed on the control screen, which then activate. Through visual activation, the array of menu keys and exit keys allow the user to navigate the software independently. Through this eye tracking technology, users can operate lights and appliances remotely, control infrared devices such as televisions and stereos, surf the web and send emails, store and play music, organize and view photos and home movies, read books reading tablet, watch online videos, update social media statuses, and use a word processor to write down their thoughts.

The research into these devices continues to develop as new technology emerges.