People who have lost the ability to move have been using “gaze technology” to communicate by computer for years, but the technology has been too slow to operate in virtual worlds, until now. A team led by Stephen Vickers of De Montfort University, Leicester, UK has developed new software that allows the eyes to select functions and temporarily turn off tracking just by the movement of the gaze.
"Even though a user in, say, Second Life might look as if they are able-bodied, if they can't operate and communicate as fast as everyone else, they could be perceived as having a disability," he told New Scientist, adding that there is a privacy issue for players who may prefer not to reveal their disability in the virtual world.
The developments are "hugely important", according to Mick Donegan, who works with severely disabled children and adults at Oxford-based charity and COGAIN partner, SpecialEffect.
"Enabling someone to express themselves and engage with people in ways that they can't do in real life – because they are restricted to a wheelchair or a bed – can have a really positive effect on their self-esteem and motivation," says Donegan.
Link -via Geek Like Me