The Eyeboard is an open source eye tracking project that enables the user to write on the computer and interact with the real world. People with physical disabilities face a lot of communication problems with other people. This is why I was motivated to build an inexpensive, yet reliable, human-computer interface that detected eye movements using the technique used in the biomedical field, Electrooculography (EOG).
Youtube Space Lab Entry:
Why do I need the funds?
To make this technology even cheaper, we need to take The eyeboard into scale production. If we reach our goal, this technology is going to be accessible for those who need it and for people interested on this field (here at kickstarter you can get a DIY kit cheaper than on my website).
I am also improving the software and the project itself. Some of these updates include: letting the user control the computer's cursor, an eye-controlled wheelchair and video games played with the user's eyes!
My vision is seeing The Eyeboard at home, schools and organizations for disabled people, so anybody interested in controlling the computer with their eyes can do it. The eyeboard can help many people, from disabled people to students and hobbyist who want to replicate this project themselves.
How it works
Electro- oculography (EOG) is a technology that consists of placing electrodes around the eyes on the person’s forehead to record eye movements. The voltage that exists between the eyes is a very small electrical potential that can be detected using electrodes. People with certain disabilities may use these systems in order to have certain communication. However, systems like these tend to be very expensive due to their complexity; therefore, I knew that building a cheap EOG system could be beneficial to a lot of people.
games have always been part of my life, but it wasn't until I began to
study game programming that I acquired a strong interest in the video
game development. As a 16-year old junior in high school, I began to
combine my game programming experience and digital electronics to build a
system. It was a hard task, but I was not going to give up despite of the scarcity of resources and the lack of support on this field in my country, Honduras. The project began as a wireless infrared controller, which was able to send three different commands to a remote station by pressing buttons that eventually included an embedded accelerometer to add the feature of being sensitive to motion. I didn't possess any experience whatsoever of transmitting data electromagnetically, but my perseverance took me to invent the code, the circuit and the algorithms from scratch with just a breadboard and a handful of electronic components. The same thing happened with the rest of the video game system; I had to study how to send data to a NTSC TV from scratch, for
both monochromatic composite video and monaural sound. By finishing the whole project, I had officially developed the first video game system in my country, consequently taking some attention from the media; therefore, being published in local newspapers, local TV shows, US periodicals such
as “MAKE Magazine” and received invitations to address speeches about my accomplishment and invitations to tech events.
“Where am I heading now?” I asked myself, I didn't have the answer for that question. However, in pursuit of the American dream and better opportunities in my future career, I moved to Colorado Springs, CO, USA with my parents' support and financial sacrifice in order to finish my senior year of high school. While devoting part of my time to keep good grades, I also worked in many different electronic projects to enrich my knowledge on this field when I had free time. A stronger motivation was going to make me work on a new project when I met one of my classmates who was tetraplegic. Meeting him, and hearing about some testimonies of people with similar illnesses, made me realize that a lot of people with disabilities don't have access to technology that help them overcome communication problems just because those systems are way too expensive.
Combining some ideas I had for previous projects, and the motivation to help people with disabilities in developing countries and the whole world made me work hard enough to finish my first stable version of a Human-Computer Interface that would provide the user the ability to communicate with other people and interact with the computer using just their eyes. The prototype of the monitoring system of bioelectrical signals I developed, could be built with as little as two hundred US dollars, while other similar biomedical systems available could cost a minimum of ten thousand dollars. I participated at local and state science fairs in Colorado, consequently I was invited to the INTEROP IT Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, where I showcased my projects and my goals. That took the attention of the media (including CNN) to cover the story of The Eyeboard.
The Do-It-Yourself Kit
To make sure that a lot of people can reach this technology, I released everything as open source and will be selling a Do-It-Yourself kit on my website for about $150 so anybody interested can make it themselves. This is why I am raising funds to deliver -probably the FIRST- affordable Do-It-Yourself eye-tracking EOG kit in the market.
Please support me to make my dream come true of bringing The Eyeboard to the market that can be of benefit to many people with disabilities or just for learning purposes around the world!
- (60 days)