EyeWriter is the fruit of the KanEye project

eyewriter-project

The EyeWriter is an open source eye tracking initiative. This is the mature version of the KanEye project we covered in April. Collaboratively developed by Free Art and Technology (FAT), OpenFrameworks, and the Graffiti Research Lab, they seek to aid a friend of theirs who suffers from the degenerative muscle disease ALS.

They’ve come a long way since we last looked in on the progress. The hardware used is pretty much the same: a set of sunglasses sans lenses with the CCD from a Sony PlayStation 3 Eye mounted in front of one eye. IR LEDs surround the CCD and point at the eye to increase the contrast between pupil and the rest of the eye. The major improvement comes with the software. Eye tracking appears to be extremely precise and they’ve written a custom drawing program to take advantage of their interface. Check in on their developer page for source code and a video walk-through of the software.

After the break you can see video of [Tempt1] using the system to create some tags. We’re thankful for the success this project has seen as this guy can do a lot better with his eye than we can with our hands.

[Thanks Jessee]

Comments

  1. Aphex13 says:

    That’s the best article I’ve seen on here in a while!

  2. David S says:

    Very cool.

  3. 36chambers says:

    So awesome. Great post

  4. Taek says:

    Linked this one to my facebook profile – One of the best hacks i’ve seen in a long while and well worth it.

  5. blah says:

    lets put a some servos and a laser on the other side so it shoots things

  6. Roofus says:

    Have they considered the safety of pointing multiple IR LEDs directly at someone’s eye for extended periods? IR does not trigger the eye to blink in defense. What strength is safe?

  7. Drew says:

    @Roofus- that’s actually a decent question. Many have pointed that out in the past with other eyetracking setups (whatever happened to the OpenEyes project?), but others have made a good point- the IR from the sun while outside is far more than these put on the eye.

    The best solution I’ve seen to settle the issue is have a momentary switch control IR on/off to only trigger ON when people want it on. This could be done with the tongue for the disabled.

    All in all, great hack! I’m still waiting for an actual article linking eye tracking to controlling a servo- I have visions of controlling a tilt-pan servo pod turret for airsoft this way.

  8. BFO says:

    WOW, I’m speechless! Great post, great hack!

  9. vash says:

    THIS IS GREAT! now if i could develop the software to replace my mose with this…

    what? Blink to click? keep it closed for 2 sec to right click lol?

    I would love THAT!

  10. therian says:

    This is great what you doing, it hard to belive there inst anything like this already I mean it so needed and not hard to implement

  11. That’s really great and the potential applications are marvellous. Bravo!

  12. Eirikur Hrafnsson says:

    Just wonderful :)

    This is what we should use our know how for.

    -Eiki, Iceland

  13. JBS says:

    Does anybody know what song was used in that video? Amazing project, by the way. Such a simple and intuitive concept, and well-implemented.

  14. therian says:

    by the way to lower IR exposure on eye you can try to flash it in sync of camera frame rate or even lower, fast enough for our slow eyes muscles

  15. bxrx says:

    The song is Man On The Moon by Kid Cudi. I’m pretty sure the sound bite at the end of the song is from an interview with P.O.S.

    Great video and great to see people out there having such a strong affect on people’s lives.

  16. Tommy luca says:

    That’s a great article. I think really this eye writer will helps the people who is suffering from ALS . I have heard about his before, Its a low-cost eye-tracking apparatus & custom software that allows graffiti writers and artists with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes.

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