A low cost device designed by a British mechanical engineering student detects eye blinks or finger movements that allows victims of severe paralysis to communicate without the need of an interpreter.
With help of a software LabVIEW application - a graphical programming environment, the device converts the movement into sentences before reading them aloud.
Advertisement"I have been able to create a prototype at a total cost of 164 pounds (Rs.16,360)," said Robert Green from Loughborough University in a statement, who designed the device. "I hope to significantly improve the lives of people suffering from degenerative conditions by giving a voice to those who are unable to speak and who have very limited body movement," Green noted.
The low-cost system uses an optical reflectance sensor, a pair of 3D cinema glasses and two resistors. The finger movement detection circuit comprises of a simple switch, which in the case of the prototype is an up cycled doorbell to provide a large, sturdy surface to press on. The sensor is mounted onto the frame of the glasses close to the user's eyes and emits an infra-red signal at the white of the user's eye.
The software then analyses the signal to detect whether or not a change has taken place. It is at this point that the user is able to scroll and select letters from a digital letter board to form sentences which are then read aloud by the computer, aided by a predictive text function.