Student team of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced yesterday a new application for the Emotiv EPOC which turns the biosensor headset to a unique computer pointing device, or mouse/keyboard replacement for disabled people. Until now, the application was developed using 17 healthy subjects.
The development was announced only now that the university team applied for a patent for the application, which could make life much easier for disabled, even severely disabled such as Cambridge University theoretical physicist Prof. Stephen Hawking, who is totally paralyzed by amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and can very slowly express his thoughts by batting his eyelids at a device that recognizes his movements and turns them into letters.
With the BGU application, Hawking could make just three different facial movements such as a smile or think three different thoughts, which would be mapped electronically and allow him to operate his computer quicker to perform many tasks by zooming in, zooming out and selecting what he wished.
The student team, Ori Ossmy, Ofir Tam and Ariel Rozen, developed the application last year for their bachelor’s degree project under the supervision BGU software engineers Prof. Mark Last, Dr. Rami Puzis, Prof. Yuval Alovitz and Dr. Lior Rokah.
Asked whether a severe headache could disrupt its use, Puzis said it probably would, “but working with a computer mouse is also affected by severe headaches.” He said the BGU application was small enough to be used in one’s home, not just in a university lab.
Article source: jpost.com