Give your gizmo the gift of sight
This is the type of news that makes everything we do worthwhile! This past January, I was contacted by Alex Sayer, Alan Kwok, and Benny Chick, students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver, who wanted to use some of our Tam2 chips for a class project in which they would provide a human-computer interface (HCI) for people suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and could not operate a computer using their hands. Their idea: Use a low resolution image sensor, mounted on a pair of eyeglasses and pointed at the eye, to track where the eye is looking, and generate signals to emulate a mouse. The user would move his or her eye in different directions, causing the mouse cursor to move accordingly. The user could use select patterns to generate mouse clicks and so forth. Intrigued, I sent them some Tam2 chips to play with...
Four months later, they had a working prototype they call the "eyeSelect", and Alan Janzen, a patient suffering from ALS, was using this device to play solitaire and other games on a computer! These three students won the top prize in the 2012 Dr. Jim McEwen Excellence in Engineering design competition. Nice!!
Below are a links to news media articles on their achievement, with pictures and video!