Eye gaze technology is a method of communication which uses tracking of eye movements. It is typically used by people whose other physical motor skills are not reliable, i.e. they’re unable to speak intelligibly or use hand or switch control to operate a communication device. It can also be called gaze interaction, gaze-based assistive technology or eye control
How does it work?
The user learns skills such as using their eyes to scan through options on the screen and dwell on a chosen word or symbol. A special camera tracks these movements and moves or selects accordingly.
The two common ways an eye gaze system is set up are:
- A mainstream computer or tablet which may be mounted to the user’s wheelchair or positioned on a desk paired with an eye tracking camera such as the Alea Intelligaze or Tobii Dynavox PCEye Mini.
- A speech generating device (SGD) with eye tracking camera function or add on, e.g. Tellus5 Intelligaze, Grid Pad Eye 13.
What does it cost?
Prices vary. An eye tracking camera and software paired with a mainstream tablet or computer could cost around $5000 whereas one of the dedicated SGDs with added camera and software may be more in the $20 000 range. Both of the set ups have pros and cons.
Can eye gaze technology run on a Mac?
At this point in time, none of the eye gaze software programs are compatible with MacOS.
The latest version of Mac’s operating system, MacOS Sierra, includes the option of enabling Dwell Control. When the Mac is paired with eye gaze hardware, the user can perform mouse actions such as right click and left click, drag and drop and scroll.
A promising new product is the Eye Tribe Tracker which claims to be compatible with MacOS Sierra. Watch this space for updates.
Can eye gaze technology run on an iPad?
Not at this point in time but we can hope.
How can we help?
If you are looking for an eye gaze system, do some research, decide what’s going to work the best for you and get in touch.
We can offer consultancy, set up and installation and after sales service on your device. We can also source devices for you.
Information from Apple on Dwell Control
Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s helpful guide to eye gaze
Zyteq – Melbourne based eye gaze technology specialist