Eye tracking startup Obital today opened a new era of affordable assistive communication by launching Eyetell, an app that turns consumer mobile devices into communication tools for people with disabilities, such as ALS, cerebral palsy, and paralysis due to stroke or spinal cord injuries. The beta version of the app was unveiled today at Disrupt Berlin and users can sign up for early access at www.eyetell.io.
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“Due to the high cost of specialty eye tracking hardware and software for assistive communications, millions of people with disabilities around the world simply can’t get the tools required to cover their basic needs for communication,” said Frederik Oestergaard Neble, CEO of Obital. “Limited accessibility to these tools has severe human impact, and our mission is to change this by releasing the life-changing potential of eye tracking technology through a new approach that is no longer dependent on expensive, specialty hardware.”
Unlike other eye tracking based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology currently on the market, Eyetell is an app that runs on any regular tablet or smartphone regardless of manufacturer or operating system, making it affordable and accessible to everyone. Easy to set up, the Eyetell app requires no calibration and can be downloaded and used anywhere in the world. Eyetell enables users to simply look at their device screen, type letters with their eyes and then the device reads the text out loud.
- How it works. See user video with Martin who has cerebral palsy: bit.ly/eyetell
The Eyetell app will benefit millions of people with communication disabilities seeking greater independence, as well as families and caregivers who often seek ways to better support or connect with those struggling to communicate.
Eyetell is made possible by combining existing camera sensors in mobile devices together with a new innovative software as a service eye tracking platform developed by Obital. Obital’s new eye tracking platform enables developers to create their own eye tracking enabled apps for mobile devices, opening a wide range of opportunities for many new eye-powered applications within the area of AAC as well as for other markets.
“Obital’s new platform gives developers the ability to design their own apps with eye-based interaction and data using just a few lines of code,” added Neble. “We are excited to help accelerate the use of eye tracking into the mass market in a manner that can bring so much good to the world.”
Obital is a rapidly emerging technology startup based in Denmark that has created the world’s first software as a service eye tracking platform, which allows any mobile device to become an eye tracker without the use of separate, expensive eye tracking devices. Obital recently launched Eyetell, the first app built using its new platform, that turns any tablet or smartphone into an easy to use, low cost assistive communications tool. www.obital.io