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The EyeWriter Initiative

A group sets out to change the way people with Lou Gehrig's disease live their lives!

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is an incredibly debilitating and vicious disease that affects thousands of people across the world. It essentially robs its victims of all motor skills, while their mind remains unchanged. They are basically trapped in their own bodies, making communication with the outside world incredibly difficult.

Fortunately there are people like those at the EyeWriter Initiative, a group of thinkers and scientists that set out to make the lives of those with ALS a bit easier and more enjoyable. Check out the above video - the folks at EyeWriter Initiative built a device that allows users to use eye movements to draw on-screen with a computer. It allows artists, like Tempt One seen in the video, to continue their trade, even when suffering from ALS. It's not difficult to imagine the possibilities a technology like this could hold for other tasks as well. Amazing work!

Comments 26 comments

  • Im not crying, just cutting onions.. thats all

  • I love it! I have an 8 year old son with Cerebral Palsy that could use something like this for simple yes/no or object selecting. What would be really cool is to add that new swype keyboard software to it.
    Great job

  • Hell yeah, I've been following GRL for a long time. I used to write, myself. It's cool to see tech like this growing in association with Graffiti Research Labs and even cooler seeing homebrew and open tech solve real medical problems, that's something I'm really passionate about.
    Nice job.

  • WOW!!!! thats what I want to do with my engineering skills

  • I lost my brother-in-law to ALS six years ago. This is a wonderful gift not only to those with ALS but also their loved ones. As difficult as it was to watch his deterioration, it was equally difficult to see the complete helplessness in the eyes of his wife and children.
    Beautiful and extremely important work. Thanks for sharing this.

  • This is great stuff.

  • This should tie in well with the Dasher input system.
    I've played with an implementation of Dasher and it's actually very efficient at entering large amounts of text with minimal movement, perfect for eye tracking systems.
    Try it out - it's different but very intuitive.

  • I'm too a reader of graffiti research lab. When I saw this video for the first time I immediately thoughts those guys are amazing ! They should be considered heroes of our society. Lot's of people in the world suffer from paralysis, the probles is that most of them just cannot afford the cost of a commercial eye tracking system. Unfortunately very few people are aware of the existence of the open way , to do things.

  • Hey! I saw that Sony Playstation Camera being hacked for the CCD. Wow Playstation tech being hacked gave someone back their ability to create. If only we could install linux on that magical lifesaving box.... But realy... Who would want to do that? Oh well some People just are bad apples I guess...

  • Impressive and useful, a rare combination. Great job

  • Really Cool! You go! :)


  • If you haven't yet read it:

  • My grandfather had ALS until he died in 2005. I think that it's great when people make these extremely useful and helpful devices, instead of wasting time making humanoid robots.

  • very inspiring, T_T , I hope do something like this in all my life, Congrats!!!!!!

  • Zach Lieberman is the man.

  • Wow! That is simply amazing. Essentially there are no limitations that can not be overcome.

  • I hope that my keyboard will get replaced by this one day! in the future!!!!!!!!!

  • I saw this on Instructables March of last year (www.instructables.com/id/The-EyeWriter) and I was amazed then. This man will change lives.

  • BTW (Sorry, I'm not tryin' to bomb this post)
    Emcee, When I get outta class here in a while, I'm gonna finally update the beer blog so feel free to check it out later
    sigh I just finished an early morning Accounting test on an hour's sleep. I apologize for the triple-posting action whereas simply editing and appending my previous posts would obviously have been more economical.

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