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Devices for people with hand tremors


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#1 GoshenBleeping

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 07:55 AM

I have an elderly friend who has hand tremors. Using a mouse can be frustrating. I found two items that can help.

 

(1) "SteadyMouse is free software designed by a couple of geeks to assist people with the hand tremors that commonly go along with Parkinson's disease, Multiple sclerosis, etc."    http://www.steadymouse.com/

 

(2) Assistive Mouse Adapter  (~ $160)    http://www.enablingtechnology.net/anti-tremor-mouse-adapter-754-p.asp

 

Does anyone know of other software or hardware that could help such a person?

 

Thank you.

 



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 06:00 PM

Thanks very much for the above. I'm afraid I haven't come across any similar software, but a woman I know says her husband - who has Parkinsons - gets very frustrated trying to use his laptop. I have passed it on to her to see if it will help.

 

This is a problem that is going to become more urgent in the UK because of our government's intention to move all social security benefit applications on-line, which obviously creates difficulties for the eldery, disabled and infirm.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 TsVk!

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Posted 14 July 2013 - 11:29 PM

I know it might be a bit new right new, but there have been huge jumps in eye tracking software for disabled people. Might be worth researching.



#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:27 PM

Thanks for the suggestion TsVk! - you got me going !  I spent an hour this morning running around, largely on Google, to come up with some interesting information. The leading commercial comppany in this field appears to be a firm called Tobii, originally, I think German, but with offices world wide.

 

http://www.tobii.com/en/assistive-technology/global/products/hardware/pceye/

 

They produce a very nifty gadget, which looks not unlike a slightly reduced Konect bar or a Wii sensor bar that sits on top of your laptop or at the bottom of your display. I have no information about the software employed - they supply that - but they claim it is easy to set up and calibrate the equipment. And so it should be, the asking price in the UK for the basic unit is just under £UK 3000 + 20% VAT (sales tax).

 

There is another even more interesting potential solution produced as a research project in Dr. Aldo Faisal's neuroscience lab at Imperial College, London. This is a head worn rig and the prototype hammered his lab's budget to the tune of about £UK 50 (inc sales tax !) for the bits. OK, the only one made to date is a prototype and it sure as hell isn't pretty - bare, uncovered circuit boards and camera mounts - but apparently Dr. Faisal, as head of the lab, was amazed at its functionality. I would say, looking at it, that the material cost to 'package' it neatly and produce it would be under £UK 100, so they could profitably be made and sold at around £UK 250 - 300.

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/24/tech/mci-eye-tracking-gadget

 

The link is to an article from CNN, but there is sufficient info in the article to enable you to find virtually anything else you want to know about this device.

 

All this interest started because somebody said to me 'How do you make the web more accessible to people with disabilities ?'. The problem is that there is a huge range of disability types. 'Disability' covers people like my late Auntie May who essentially dared the motoring populatiion of Edinburgh to run her down when she was crossing the road ( she had Parkinsons ), through my wife's sister who is confined to a wheelchair but otherwise has no problems with computers, to people who are paralysed from the neck down. And that doesn't include people like my blind neighbour.

 

How do you make the web accessible to people who are blind or at least very severely visually impaired ?  Yes, I know you can get braille keyboards and braille printers but I can't think of any mainstream web-sites which can interface in braille, or even merely speech. I run a couple of small web-sites for Clubs I am involved with and happily, blind members is not one of my problems. The only solution I can think of would be to add in audio clips for everything, and what that would do to the size of the web-site I shudder to think. At the least, it would be the end of my free hosting arrangements for these sites.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 TsVk!

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:54 PM

I actually met a guy online who works for Tobii. He was all singing and dancing about their new interfaces, and had me browsing over the site for quite a while also. But failed to mention you could buy a decent car for the same price. :mellow:

 

I wonder what has happened to the development company that has that reasonably priced prototype? That CNN article was last year in September and I can find various other articles about it... BUT... no product? No outcome?

 

Dr. Faisal is researching still with the University of London and has great write ups all over the net. But personally I don't see the point of discovery without implementation of knowledge.

 

As to blind a internet user interface, well... That would be like creating radio shows for deaf people. Seemingly beyond the scope of current science.



#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 04:21 AM

On his, or his lab's, web-site Dr. Faisal says that he is trying to interest various manufacturers in production, but that they see it as competition to the Tobii product and wish to price it at a few per cent less. He wishes this to be a cheap means of access and control, and has stated that if he cannot come to agreement with one producer or another, he will publish the design details and code openly in one or two years time.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#7 TsVk!

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 06:12 AM

I never saw that... Thanks for the insight.

 

I reckon he should open source it now, and just charge for support. After all it's not all about keeping Swedes in highly overpaid jobs.


Edited by TsVk!, 17 July 2013 - 06:12 AM.





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