PIERRE-AND-MARIE-CURIE UNIVERSITY, PARIS, FRANCE. A new gaze-tracking software has been developed to help people with locked-in syndrome use their eyes to draw and write. Smoothly sweeping the eyes to make smooth patterns on a blank computer screen is hard unless it is following or tracking an object. To correct that problem, researchers were able to develop a software using reverse phi motion which uses an optical illusion to help your eyes make smooth movements.
The developers made this software for the benefit of people who are deprived of limb movement. With the software, they will be able to write, draw and freely express their emotions without having to move their hands. There are similar technologies that can perform the same tasks. However, they would require electrode implants on the brain to work and it can be a very expensive procedure. With this new gaze-tracking software, all it needs is a head-mounted camera to monitor the eye movements.
Neuroscientist Jean Lorenceau is the one behind the reverse phi motion system which was used to make the software work smoothly. Unlike phi motion, reverse phi motion is a process wherein you take a film of a moving white dot. Next step is to turn the dot in every other frame black so that the film will appear to run backwards. The reverse phi illusion that he was able to develop refers to moving your eye to any direction and simultaneously looking at the screen. This method makes it seem like an on-screen dot is actually moving in the same direction.
This technique has proven to be more effective and flexible as compared to other eye-writing systems. The only drawback that they are trying to deal with as of the moment with the system is that users will need to stop to check what they have written from time to time. Once the user has mastered how to use it, the system will surely be a useful tool in a lot of ways. Further research, development and improvements are being done to the software to make it even more user-friendly in the near future.
|Organization||Pierre-and-Marie-Curie University, Paris, France|
|Researcher||Jean Lorenceau & Team|
|Field(s)||Neurodegenerative Disease, Reverse Phi Motion, Locked-in Syndrome, Brain Implants, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Cord Injuries, Amputees, Artificial Intelligence, Gaze-tracking Software|
|Further Information||New Scientist|