Friday, July 06, 2007

Erica and me - Week 1

On Monday, I was partially trained on how to use Erica, my new eye gaze system. But I wasn't able to complete the training due to the fact that Eye Response Technologies (ERT) doesn't ship Erica devices with a fully functioning operating system. So my Eye Response representative contacted ERT to have them FedEx to me the special unlock key. The key was delivered the next day and I unlocked Erica from her cage by myself. No problem. My ERT rep/technician, Daniel Ponder, has agreed to return to Memphis next week. It's just as well, we had to order a wheelchair mount accessory, continue training, and he needs to hook me up to the Internet. I'm well versed in Windows XP, but my first attempt to hookup to the Internet failed. As an added bonus, Daniel's going to demonstrate a device that will allow me to operate my TV and stereo using Erica.

So I'm sorry to say I'm still using my laptop. And I'm going to need more practice. Yesterday, I typed the entire alphabet but it took me several attempts. I've mastered the backspace button thank you very much. Sometimes I get so excited with the fact that I'm actually typing with my eye, I start laughing out loud and loose control.

Erica is behaving herself so far, but as you know, some women are known to be 'high maintenance' and they demand your attention 24X7. Erica works by pointing an infrared camera into your eye and magically converts your eye movements into mouse movements. So I have to keep my head perfectly still. Then after the mouse cursor remains on any object in a window for a predetermined amount of time, Erica performs a left mouse click. One must be on your toes at all times. Since it's impossible for a human to keep their eyes focused on a single point the size of the letter 'O' for more than a few seconds, it can be very fast paced. Which accounts for my inordinate amount of typing mistakes.

I'm sure it will get easier for me as time goes by. I try to practice an hour each day.