As part of a long-term agreement, Perceptive Devices and Tobii Dynavox have created Smyle Mouse – software for a new generation of hands-free and voice-free devices for those living with physical limitations, like cerebral palsy (CP).
Tobii Dynavox designs specially adapted computers that can be controlled by eye movement or touch screens. The partnership gives users of Tobii’s products a new option to control their devices using only eye gaze and gentle smiles, without having to use hands, voice, a mouse, keyboard, or adaptive switches.
Smyle Mouse tracks users’ head movements and facial expressions (filmed with a common webcam) and translates them into mouse commands. A patient may use Smyle Mouse to control augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) software and devices, for example by replacing a click, a scroll, or a drag by a smile.
“Our technology can be very useful to millions of people around the world who experience difficulties in using their hands due to disabilities such as spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, ALS, cerebral palsy, and carpal tunnel syndrome,” Uday Parshionikar, founder and CEO of Perceptive Devices, said in a press release.
“Pairing our facial expressions based head mouse control with Tobii’s gold standard eye tracking technology is a match made in heaven for users looking for a simple yet powerful hands-free and voice-free control solution,” Parshionikar added.
In April 2017, Tobii launched its new device called ‘Indi’ – an integrated speech tablet designed especially for non-verbal consumers with alternative communication needs, such as people with CP, autism, Down syndrome, and intellectual disabilities.
An Indi device comes with Windows 10 and Tobii’s new Snap symbol-based communication software (a word vocabulary delivery technology). The vocabulary is designed to help nonverbal or verbally limited Snap users work on their communication skills, and the program evolves with them as they grow.
Tobii will include a full version of Smyle Mouse on all of its Indie Series products this year. A trial version of the software will be featured by default in all Indi products, as well as bundled with its eye-tracking peripherals.