What is EagleEyes?
EagleEyes is an innovative technology developed at Boston College that enables communication and learning primarily with individuals who have congenital severe special needs. These individuals are most often non-verbal, paralyzed, and at most have a "Yes/No" method of communicating with those around them. Generally this is used with individuals whose only controlled muscular movement is their eyes.
EagleEyes is used for recreation, communication, education, cause and effect, revealing a user's true intelligence, eye strength training, focus training, and learning to use the eyes for communicating.
How Does it Work?
Basically, the mouse pointer follows the location that the user is looking at on the screen. The eyes replace the mouse. Selection is made by looking at a small area of the screen for a short period of time, which causes a mouse click. Usable with any commercial software, EagleEyes is a general mouse replacement that is based on measuring a user's EOG or electro-oculographic potential. The EOG is a small electrical potential which indicates the position of the eye relative to the head. Surface electrodes are placed on the user's head, above and below one eye, and on each side of the head to the left and right of the eyes. The five electrodes are connected to a small battery-powered electrophysiological amplifier which is connected to a computer. A program in the computer translates the signals received from the electrodes into the position of the mouse pointer on the screen. When the user moves his or her eyes, the mouse pointer moves.
Because the electrodes are attached to the users face, they can use EagleEyes in any position that they are comfortable. A combination of eye and head movement can be used to move the mouse cursor so the user does not have to be perfectly still to use EagleEyes. In addition, a software setting can be adjusted for head angle so the user can be in a relaxed position during use. The electrodes are sensor receivers only and are safe on the user's face.
EagleEyes allows the user to free play with a computer mouse. They can play games, learn new things and ultimately progress towards meaningful communication. EagleEyes often times is a gateway device that can teach the user to graduate to a more advanced device or to learn to properly use their eyes for communication without being connected such as using eye gaze boards. View our EagleEyes slide show here.
Who is a good candidate for EagleEyes?
- EagleEyes is a system for controlling the computer using your eyes. It is a great alternative to infrared devices. Many EagleEyes users have tried other eye gaze type systems with no success but found great success with EagleEyes.
- Many parents and teachers are amazed that their child/student is able to use EagleEyes. If they currently do not use an assistive device, EagleEyes may be a great solution. EagleEyes is also a great free play device, so even if they already use another device, EagleEyes may give them freedom they don't currently have.
- EagleEyes is an eye controlled device, not necessarily an eye tracking device. It is a learned skill that requires some practice.
- An individual who can only move his or her eyes voluntarily is a great candidate for an eye control system like EagleEyes. Many people who begin using EagleEyes have never had a communication method and are totally locked in. Often it is impossible to know of their cognitive ability before using EagleEyes as they have had no way to express themselves.
- EagleEyes is also a great option for individuals with limited dexterity in which eye movement would be easier. EagleEyes can allow for easier free play of games and activities.
- If an individual falls in any of the categories below, they may be better suited for another assistive device or software.
- If a person has no physical disabilities then usually the person would use a mouse or track pad to control the computer.
- If a person can speak clearly then the person might use a voice control system like "Dragon Dictate", www.Enablemart.com
- If a person has some reliable voluntary muscle control then the person might use a switch interface
- If a person has voluntary head control then the person might use a head control system like "Camera Mouse", www.cameramouse.org
If you feel your family member is a candidate for the EagleEyes technology, please take time to review the EagleEyes User's Manual (pdf).
We also provide assistance with fundraising events and financial assistance to help you acquire your EagleEyes system. Contact us for more information.
You can also fill out and submit the online EagleEyes Application. Your information will be held confidential and you will receive a phone call within three days.
How do I get an EagleEyes System?
To obtain an EagleEyes System, first fill out an Application. Next we will contact you and set up an evaluation for you to see the technology and try it out. If EagleEyes is a good fit for you then we will arrange for a 2 day training session to make sure you are comfortable using the technology and provide unlimited follow up support, training and troubleshooting.
How does EagleEyes compare to other eye gaze devices?
EagleEyes serves a niche demographic of individuals who are unable to use many other devices. EagleEyes is not a competing device with infrared type devices, because they serve different demographics. If a user is able to properly use an infrared eye tracking device, then EagleEyes would not be a good solution. Infrared is very accurate, but also requires a high functioning user that can hold still and also perform the calibration sequence.
On the other hand, EagleEyes does not require the user to sit still and can be calibrated instantly for any position the user is comfortable. EagleEyes is more adaptable to user's with specific special needs and adapts to their paradigm and allows them to be themselves. EagleEyes can be controlled with a combination of eye and small head movements and is great for use with peripheral vision users and cortical visual impairment.
Where is EagleEyes Manufactured?
EagleEyes is professionally manufactured in Logan, Utah by INOVAR Electronic Manufacturing. It is manufactured with the highest industry standards an is even RoHS compliant, which means it is lead free. The electrodes are manufactured by BioMed Electrodes in Fair Oaks, California and are made of top grade silver-silver chloride material for optimal reception.
What has been Accomplished?
EagleEyes training is facilitated by the Opportunity Foundation of America and the Boston College Campus School. The EagleEyes technology is manufactured by Sanmina-SCI in West Valley City, Utah and Plastic Fabricating in Salt Lake City.
What is the Future for EagleEyes?
There are thousands of children and adults in the US and UK who could benefit from EagleEyes. Expanding the distribution of this great technology to meet the need is dependent upon generous personal donations and grants from private foundations.