Eye tracking

Ruth and I went to Tampa last Monday to the University of South Florida where I was tested on five eye-tracking computers to find the one most compatible. Our appointment was for 10 AM and we left at 4:30 PM.  It was a great experience. Two doctoral candidates and three graduate students spent the day with us.

I was given a battery of cognitive and word comprehension tests in the morning and the afternoon was spent with the computers.

My bifocal glasses and glare on the lenses threw three of the computers into a tizzy before we narrowed it down to one computer brand. Now we have to wait for Medicare approval. Please pray that I will be approved.

Eye trackers use a video camera that observes our eyes and produce high-resolution images of our irises  and pupils and identifies the eye’s gaze points. On the computer screen is a keyboard. When the eyes fixate on a particular letter on the keyboard, the computer reacts much as a touch keyboard. By use of the eyes words can be formed for either voice emission or to create emails, blogs, or other documents.

Eye tracking will soon be available for a host of applications: as a peripheral device, an eye tracker can be added to a regular computer screen, it can be built into glasses or other wearable devices, and of course, specially designed computers with built-in eye tracking,

As far back as 2013 Popular Mechanics listed eye gaze as an emerging technology that will change our lives. Recently Google and Facebook acquired eye tracking start ups. Apple has acquired several eye tracker patents and some are predicting the upcoming iPhone 7 will have some type of eye tracking capability.

The learning curve for me will be steep, but those who have mastered it say that it is comparable to a touch keyboard in speed and accuracy.

Graphic above from Google Images Common Domain. Attributed: Patricia Geiger @ making games.biz


11 Replies to “Eye tracking”

  1. Ken,
    Just spoke of you on Monday to a small group from my church (EBC in Coconut Creek) that gleans from our sermons.
    I told them you taught a wonderful Sunday School on James to Bruce & I years ago. We never forgot how you said when we get trials that we were to go to the door (of our hearts ♥️ 💙 ) and say “welcome, come on in.)

    We are so grateful for your teaching and living what you preached.

    Judi Linger is in our group. Linda Kurtgis keeps me posted how to pray for you & Ruth. She sent this update on how you can communicate, Lord Willing.

    May Our Lord who sees even deeper than behind the eye gaze, meet every need and keep you in the “Centre of His Will!”

    Blessings, BRUCE & Toni


    1. Toni and Bruce: Thanks for your encouraging comments. Since all things are used by God, who works them for our good, we cannot complain, chide, or curse when they knock on our door–even ALS. Just in small ways, like our two-way conversation now! Our love to you both. I think often of that IBM geek who emerged to major in music at FAU, and his faithful wife who stood patiently at his side!


  2. Ken, you are amazing and such an encouragement to all of us! Praying for you to keep on keeping on! When I read your blog, it makes my daily stresses not so important! Thank you!

    I’m sorry you couldn’t come to the WA Auction (Fred’s and my first time back to any WA event since 2011)…….we so enjoyed seeing Karen and Anthony, Paul and Allison, and Alan and Jane! It made it easier to go, with them there.

    Guess what? Fred is finishing his college degree! He’s been doing online classes at Liberty for several months now and our pastor is so excited that the church is paying for us to go up and Fred is going to walk to get his diploma! Donald Trump is the scheduled speaker…..but, it wouldn’t surprise me if North Korea or Syria or some other emergency causes him a problem! That’s ok…….we’ll gladly take Mike Pence! I’m so proud that Fred is getting his degree at 64 years of age. Then, as of June 1 his job at our church will take on a new dimension……..he’ll still be Facilities Director part time (no longer overseeing the complete renovation of our church building – it should be finished by then) and Lay Minister of Community Relations part time. So, while he won’t be a pastor, he’ll be doing pastoral work – something the Lord has been leading him to do for many years.

    Dad (93) passed away on Jan 1 of this year…….and Mom (90) on April 15……it’s been a rough year or two with them in and out of hospitals……and dementia developing daily. They are home with the Lord now – no more pain, clear minds, and with Jesus and each other.

    Ken, we love you and Ruth! Thank you for being YOU!


    1. Ginger: I’m so thankful that your parents have been relieved of this life and home safely with their Heavenly Father. What a joy to have known them! Their smiles are fixed in my memory. // Congratulations, Fred!! // Ruth and I send our love to you both, our cherished brother and sister.


  3. Hi Ken!
    Truly amazing what is out there!!!
    So glad that you and Ruth could go to the University and get access to this techie stuff. Now we will pray that it is approved and you can have your own equipment.

    Love you guys and holding you up in prayer as you travel this journey together. Your blogs are a blessing to read.

    Tom & Jeannine


  4. From one Floridian to another, you’re such an encouragement Brother! I prayed for you and your family today. My own Father was a patient at this very same ALS clinic at USF. My best to you.
    In His Grip,


    1. Harvey: don’t allow that weed in the sidewalk stir your perfectionist spirit to kill it. It is only doing what your blog centers on–anchor to the windward! Thank you for your prayers.- Ken


  5. Hi Ken, If anyone can learn to use this amazing device, it is you! I have seen your determination and brainpower at work, and I know you can do this! Our God knows you, inside and out, and I know He has a plan for you with one of these computers! I’ll be praying and researching ! Love, E


  6. Ken, I think I mentioned to you that I’ve been using eye-tracking computers for many years, the eye-tracking computer I’m using to type this is my 5th one. It’s a frustrating learning curve, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be fine. I’ve had my blog for five years and everything I’ve written on there has been with an eye-tracking computer.
    Your local MDA will likely have a donated eye-tracking computer to let you borrow while you’re waiting for approval and to play around with.
    Also, Medicare should approve you, but… If not, one of the many state taxes people pay on there land phones and cell phones, goes towards paying for communication devices for the disabled, deaf, blind, mute… The state of Texas paid $16,000 for the computer I’m using right now – 100%! A great blessing.
    I’ll be praying, my friend,


    1. Thanks for the info and encouragement, Bill. The local ALS group gave a loaner but when the speech therapist came to set it up, she said it was old and would be a waste of time. I count on your help. May God bless you tonite with deep peace knowing that your Heavenly Father loves you deeply. (“God reconciled you to himself by the physical body of Christ thru death so that you might be perfect in his sight, blameless, and free from accusation.”)

      • Ken


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