At the age of 18, Luis Cruz a teenager from Honduras has a passion for electronics and programming. Cruz invented an eyeball-tracking device for people with limited mobility.
This low-cost eyeball-tracking device allows users with a motor disability to enter text into a computer by just using eye gestures instead of a physical interface. This kind of system is not new to the market, but what makes Luis Cruz invention different from the others? Simple, Luis Cruz has figured out a way to build a full system into a set of glasses for less than 300 US dollars. This makes it easier for people in developing countries to reach this project and make use of it, furthermore, Cruz announced that he is going to release the software as an open source to speed up the development.
While eyeball tracking used to be achieved using painstaking manual mapping of direct observations, high-tech contact lenses can now be used to map and record eye movements, which provide data that is used in everything from virtual reality, medical research gaming development and so forth.
Luis Cruz started off developing a video game system but in the last 12 months ended up pursuing the eye tracking computer interface that works on the principles of electrooculography. This measures the resting potential of the retina by using electrodes placed just beside the eyes.
The human eye is polarised, meaning that the front of the eye carries a positive charge and the rear of the eye has a group of negatively charged nerves attached to the retina. When the eye moves, electrodes can be used to measure the change in the dipole potential of the eye through the skin.
Although Cruz’s invention has lo-fi input and doesn’t come near to any accuracy of a high-tech contact lens or video game tracking system, it’s extremely cheap and can still track the macro eye movements to allow the next phase of the project, which is known as the computer interface software.
Luis Cruz developed a piece of software that helps the user with his/her sensor glasses which can only track horizontal eye movements at this stage to choose letters in a grid, which helps the users to type words by only using their eye motions.
The Eyeboard project is a magnificent project which can help many within the community of Honduras as well as around the world.