Thursday, November 14, 2013

My new eye gaze computer, Tobii

I received Erica in June of 2007 and it was time to retire her. Every 5 years I can get a replacement eye gaze computer. In the early part of 2013 I contacted a speech therapist in Denver named Renee Karantounis and she suggested that I test some eye gaze computers before making my decision. Thank goodness she suggested it because she knew eye gaze computers to test. I ended up testing 5 computers into the summer. During that time I wrote the pros and cons of each. Before the testing I wrote a requirements document of exactly what I needed to replace Erica. The 5 were Dynavox, Tobii, Accent 1200 by Pentke, The Edge and Forbes.
As it turns out only two met my strict requirements! Most of them were only good at speaking what I was typing and nothing else. I spend all day on the internet. I must be able to send email, text messages and do Facebook. I also manage my care for example my prescriptions from the Veterans Administration and my 14 caregivers. I write daily reports to my caregivers telling them how to care for me.

In the end I choose Tobii because the company just upgraded their model. In second place was The Edge. I take my computer on the road to my monthly ALS support group meeting and Tobii’s camera is built into the base of the computer unlike Erica and The Edge. An exposed camera could be damaged. Also I needed a zoom feature because it’s difficult to go to the little red X in the upper right corner of the window to close the window with my eye. Tobii has a great zoom. I think that I made the right decision! The Veterans Administration bought me my Tobii and I received it on Oct 7th, 2013!