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Controlling Virtual Reality with the Eyes


(YouTube link)

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

Guitarist Jason Becker was using similar technology in the '90's after becoming paralyzed with Lou Gehrig's disesase. Here's a Google Video link to a documentary:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1775128028743135037&q=jason+becker&ei=tjQfSOzoE4zkqwPPh-XJAQ&hl=en
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@ Sheldon:

You are unbelievable! You cannot acknowledge what a godsend something like this is to a disabled person? Does the expression 'There but for the grace of God go I' mean anything to you?
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Yes, it does. Did you not read my comment? I believe it is amazing, and I know how outstanding this advancement is. But, because corporate companies like to take technology like this and make it available to all consumers, I can see it being used for video games (as shown in the example) that will further lead to obesity in America. I never said disabled people couldn't use it.
You're unbelievable for judging me like that. Does the quote "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" mean anything to you?
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I think the tech is great, but the idea of having any of the locked in syndromes scares me to death. I sort of wish they'd spent a little less money and time on this and a little more on a cure. I'm sure that's not the way it really works, but you see what I mean.
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That is cool!

As for children getting fat with it, well, blame the parents. If they're going to let their able-bodied child sit in front of a screen and only make movements with their eyes for hours on end, then it's up to them to deal with the consequences.
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Video games don't make kids fat. Bad parenting makes kids fat. Stop putting the blame elsewhere, you're only enabling them.

I don't get how the clicking works, but it's still awesome to watch.
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