The EyeCon desktop app: An alternative means of communication using eye gaze

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Communication is an indispensable part of our lives. It helps us share experiences, connect with people, and express our thoughts. EyeCon, a collaborative project between the University of Malta and, financed by the Malta Council for Science and Technology under the FUSION programme, has created an application with a suite of gaze-controlled communication applications intended to provide individuals with mobility impairments an alternative mode of communication through their eye movement alone. The EyeCon desktop app can track the user’s eye gaze by intelligently processing electrooculographic (EOG) data and head position and orientation data in order to estimate the user’s point of regard on a computer screen in real-time, while also allowing the user to move their head freely while using the system.

In order to use the EyeCon app users are required to follow a short calibration procedure during which subject-specific parameters are determined. The calibration procedure consists of a series of differently coloured cues during which the user is instructed to perform different eye movements such as fixations, saccades, and blinks.

The EyeCon app includes a range of keyboard layouts, including a QWERTY keyboard layout, an alphabetic keyboard layout and a large keys layout, which enable users to type solely using their eye gaze. Letter selection is done through a dwell period which can be customized to the user’s preferences from the options menu. Reducing the set dwell-time will directly have a positive impact on the user’s attainable typing speed. Each keyboard layout is intended to cater for users with different abilities and live word predictions are provided to help users improve their typing speeds. Apart from the virtual keyboard, the application also features a number of symbol-based menus to facilitate communication for younger individuals.

To mark the end of the EyeCon project, MCST will be holding a half-day event at Esplora on the 5th of July 2023.  For further information, check out EyeCon’s Facebook page or the MCST Facebook page.

Visit the below link to read further on EyeCon project.

Image: The QWERTY keyboard layout which allows communication through EOG-based eye gaze tracking. 

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Further Information: External Link