Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Inspiration: COGAIN

Much of the developments seen in the field of gaze interaction stems from the assistive technology field where users whom are unable to use regular computer interfaces are provided tools to empower their everyday life in a wide range of activities such as communication, entertainment, home control etc. For example they can use the eye to type words and sentences which then are synthetically translated into spoken language by software, thus enabling communication beyond blinking. A major improvement in the quality of life.

"COGAIN (Communication by Gaze Interaction) integrates cutting-edge expertise on interface technologies for the benefit of users with disabilities. COGAIN belongs to the eInclusion strategic objective of IST. COGAIN focuses on improving the quality of life for those whose life is impaired by motor-control disorders, such as ALS or CP. COGAIN assistive technologies will empower the target group to communicate by using the capabilities they have and by offering compensation for capabilities that are deteriorating. The users will be able to use applications that help them to be in control of the environment, or achieve a completely new level of convenience and speed in gaze-based communication. Using the technology developed in the network, text can be created quickly by eye typing, and it can be rendered with the user's own voice. In addition to this, the network will provide entertainment applications for making the life of the users more enjoyable and more equal. COGAIN believes that assistive technologies serve best by providing applications that are both empowering and fun to use."

A short introduction by Dr Richard Bates, a research fellow at the School of Computing Sciences at the De Montfort University in Leicester, can be downloaded either as presentation slides or paper.

The COGAIN network is a rich source of information on gaze interaction. A set of tools developed within the network has been made publicly software available for download. Make sure to check out the video demonstations of various gaze interaction tools.

Participating organizations within the COGAIN network.

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