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    Eye tracker/speech recognition

    Hi everyone - apologies as I know there are quite a few topics on this but I can't find exactly what I'm looking for.

    My mum is becoming increasingly bored/frustrated at not being able to use her phone or a computer. Her hands and legs aren't really an option anymore (certainly won't be soon) - so I've been trying to research eye tracker and/or speech recognition software (her voice thus far is unaffected, long may it continue).

    I have some questions if anyone would be so kind as to advise:
    1. What's the best eye tracker product in your opinion? I've read about the Tobii but not really sure what the difference is between products. I've also seen people mention a Gridpad but don't know what that is either!
    2. How far can these products go in terms of using social media (namely Facebook). She'd also like to use Whatsapp (which I would normally suggest doing via Whatsapp web on a desktop, can any of the eye gaze systems work with this?)
    3. Did anyone get demonstrations of the software? I can't seem to find a coherant answer on how easy this is to do
    4. How much roughly are these devices/software?

    My siblings and I are very tech-savvy so we can pick this stuff up quickly to help Mum, just no idea where to start at the moment!


    Huge thanks in advance for any advice.

    #2
    A_Owl I know you're tech savvy but forgive me for starting at the basics, it may help others.

    I’m going to jumble up the order of your questions:

    3 & 4. It should cost your mum (nor you) nothing - AAC is provided to those who need it. Usually, the referral is made by a Speech and Language Therapist or an Occupational Therapist, so that’s the first step. AAC is assistive communication and communication is not just verbal so, just because your mum can speak, doesn’t preclude her from getting an AAC device. SmartBox might give her a trial before she starts the process.

    1. Grid Pad is a Windows 10 hardware (tablet) device which comes preloaded with Grid 3 software. It is unlikely that there will be a choice of eye tracker - a device will be given with an eye tracker - but, to answer your question, IMHO, the Tobii IS5 is the best eye tracker, which is not saying that the others are rubbish.

    2. Grid 3 software supports all social media platforms and WhatsApp - actually, IDK about TikTok.

    Re Voice Control: has she tried the native voice control on a Windows or iPad device? It might be too limiting, or take a look at Dragon Natural Speaking it may be provided or perhaps the MNDA would fund/part-fund it through a grant. xx
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
    Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

    Comment


      #3
      I have been provided with a Tobii Dynavox TD Pilot which is an iPad Pro with the Tobii eye tracker added. Meets my needs perfectly because all my tech is Apple and I’ve been an iPad user since 2011. The eye tracking is really good (but not so good outside in sunshine) and the TD Talk speech app is great.

      This is the stupid bit. Because I wanted to use the device for speech and also use it for other purposes, my local speech service wouldn’t fund it. Fortunately the environmental control team were more enlightened and paid for it!
      Diagnosed October 2020 - See my blog at https://www.myneurodiary.com

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        #4
        Sorry to ask but what is an environmental control team? I have seen it mentioned before on the forum. I can only imagine pest control !! x

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          #5
          Originally posted by Zante View Post
          ... what is an environmental control team?
          Environmental controls refer to electrical gadgets in the home environment which can be controlled by you, from your PC/tablet - anything from a TV, lights, a fan to door entry. xx
          ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
          Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

          Comment


            #6
            PeterPan May I ask you Peter - how is the eye tracker is behaving in the non-TD apps, is it as jumpy as I've seen on the review videos?

            Thanks xx
            ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
            Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

            Comment


              #7
              Ellie got it thanks for explanation. I assume for that type of gadget you would need to already have smart stuff in the home? Never actually seen anything like you mentioned demonstrated. example a light being switched on or off by using a pc/tablet? amazing what can be done these days x

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                #8
                Zante No, most devices really which have a simple On/Off switch and is plugged in can be controlled, so lamps, fans etc.

                With so much TV and other media available on PCs/tablets these days, the TV is a bit less important unless, of course, broadband is an issue.
                ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
                Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Ellie View Post
                  PeterPan May I ask you Peter - how is the eye tracker is behaving in the non-TD apps, is it as jumpy as I've seen on the review videos?

                  Thanks xx
                  I haven’t had any problems at all when using the non-TD apps and I use quite a few - Times newspaper, internet banking, Sonos sound system, Housemate device, Apple Home app for lights, Hive thermostat, Amazon, Safari, Word, Excel etc. It’s a game changer for me.
                  Diagnosed October 2020 - See my blog at https://www.myneurodiary.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Oh that's great to hear PeterPan thanks 👍👍

                    And I could not survive without mine!
                    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
                    Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Ellie got it. I was looking around the house here thinking....the only smart device in the house is mobile phone and my dog! Thanks xx

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                        #12
                        I was looking up voice banking, bit of pessimism there, and commented to someone about the cost. Then, someone told me, i could get it free, but there has been no progress since i found out. Certainly, the finding out about things, has been the most tricky aspect, so far, for me.
                        Mum died with MND in 1979 – My sister and I have a wonky gene, probably inherited from mum. Reckon my MND started sometime in 2018.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by EvelynMW View Post
                          I was looking up voice banking, bit of pessimism there, and commented to someone about the cost. Then, someone told me, i could get it free, but there has been no progress since i found out. Certainly, the finding out about things, has been the most tricky aspect, so far, for me.
                          If you contact the MND connect team they will sort out voice banking. They can loan you the head mic and a laptop if required and, yeah it’s totally free

                          Comment


                            #14
                            MNDA funded the licence for Acapela voice banking, SALT did all referrals and application for funding etc and sat in whilst we did the "banking", expletives and all.

                            She also referred to ACT (Assisting Communication & Technology) They provided the grid pad which was initially controlled by a ball mouse (by hand) but as mobility reduced this progressed to a head mouse and now eye gaze. They adapt as your needs progress.

                            They also provided smart plugs to operate fans, are currently exploring adding hospital bed controls. The grid pad device operates 2 seperate TV's and digital set top box and firestick. All programmed by ACT. Emails, WhatsApp, Internet, Netflix, mobile phone are all connected to it.

                            They have also supplied a separate head controlled alarm / call system for just in case the eye gaze may not be calibrated. They are really good and do really try to increase quality of life.

                            They have also provided a stand on wheels to move the device between bed and chair and have supplied a bracket for the powered wheelchair which has had to be adjusted to accommodate the different position required for eye gaze.

                            They try to make the most of the mobility you have at the time, whilst allowing for future changes. I have found them very responsive, even during COVID.

                            We are looked after by the team at QE Bham.
                            Carer for husband diagnosed with ALS April 2021. Hand onset. PEG fed, completely immobile, communicates with eye gaze.

                            Respiratory and blood gases still within normal range.

                            No speech but sense of humour still fully intact.

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