Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Eye Gaze Computer

My son Chris and I were talking about the upgrade to my computer and how eye gaze is becoming increasingly popular with computer gaming. I have seen videos of it. 

I received my first eye gaze computer called Erica in 2007. It's short for... Eye Response Interface Computer Apparatus!  That was the time when I was loosing my ability to speak, it was extremely frustrating! I reached a point in that year where only my wife could understand what I was saying because she was with me most of the time.  
Unfortunately last year my great computer died a wicked death. I took to get it repaired but they said it was too old and they couldn't get the parts. It was a dinosaur in computer years! The good news is they were able to save my data and gave me an external hard drive! 

I had to transfer to my other computer which I have been practicing with for a while. It's called Tobii. I was very fortunate to have a smart speech therapist guide me through the process of picking the right computer for me. She offered me five different types of computers to test! When I worked for FedEx I absolutely loved testing the software. I would tell my coworkers that if you locked me in a room and told me that I would only test computer software, I would be a happy camper! I tested all five, it took me months. Finally I narrowed it down to two. Tobii and The Edge. I chose Tobii because it has a built-in camera and it has solid state internal components. 

The built-in camera was very important because I take my computer with me on road trips for example to my A. L. S. support group meetings and Erica was difficult to carry. Each time I feared that my caregiver would drop Erica on his camera and I would be without a computer! Oh 

I have an interesting story about the Tobii Company for you, they bought out (it was a hostile take over) the company that makes Erica a few years back and fired all of the people who were my friends. I got to know the Erica support people very well. A few years later Tobii bought out the top leading provider of eye gaze computing called Dynavox! I had a Dynavox once; I traded it in for Tobii in 2013. 

I never got used to Dynavox, was poor at tracking my eye but it was horrible with the Internet, I live on the Internet! 
This picture is of me at my support group meeting with Tobii. 
Tobii is most excellent at tracking my eyes! In fact Tobii eye tracking calibration gets better as you use it, the algorithms in the program are extremely well designed! I’m happy to say that I have perfected Tobii, it only took me a few months! I have to say that the Tobii support people are very knowledgeable and helped me with all my issues! 

That's why Tobii are entering into the world of gaming!