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First Demo of BlinkToText Software

A project log for BlinkToText

BlinkToText is an open source, free, and easy to use software program that converts eye blinks to text.

Swaleh OwaisSwaleh Owais 10/08/2017 at 02:480 Comments

I have developed a program that allows users to convert eye blinks to text. There are many things that I would like to change about the software, but I do have a demo version ready. You can view the demo below.

The software automatically cycles through a series of rows. If the user blinks, the software iterates through each element of the selected row. To differentiate between intentional  and unintentional blinks, the software only recognizes blinks that last longer than 1.25 seconds. The user can select an element by blinking again.

The user can view themselves with the camera feature.

The user can recite her/his text using the recite button.

I feel that the software would make a good note taking tool for paralysed people. A series of notes can be amassed in the right dialog box. The software speeds up note taking by predicting the next word that the user might blink. The Go/Pause button allows users to start and stop note taking at will. A key goal of the program is that it can be operated with complete independence by paralysed people. With the Go/Pause button the program can be run at the user’s discretion. A computer can be set at the end of the user’s bed/ wheelchair, etc so that they can express themselves as they please.

I had many ideas for the text selection. I was not sure what the most convenient way to select text would be. An acquaintance suggested copying a nine digit cell phone pad.

[1, Figure 1: Nine Digit Cell Phone Pad]

I looked into the Minuum keyboard system, as well.

I learned about the row column method in an unusual way. I was watching a video clip of Breaking Bad, and noticed one of the actors communicate using a text chart. I was disappointed by the nurse not being able to understand the patient. I believe if the man could operate the chart independently,  he would not have that problem.

Currently, the GUI’s Nurse Button has no programmed function. Eventually, I want the user to be able to send their message as a text, email, and/or something else. The Nurse Button is for that purpose.

Improvements

There are a lot of improvements that I would like to make to the interface. I hope that I can finish all of these improvements before Oct. 16/17.

I would like to make the button font size significantly bigger. Ideally, bedridden patients would be able to use the software by having a computer permanently placed at the foot of their bed. Currently, the text is readable from five feet away with 20/30 vision. Unfortunately, stroke and other diseases that cause paralysis can also affect vision. The software should be accessible to people with poor vision, as well.

I think sound effects would improve the user experience. I tended to keep my eyes closed for longer than needed in the demo. If a sound effect signalled when a blink was detected, I could open my eyes sooner.

References

[1] S. Jain. Print All Possible Words From Phone Digits. 2017. Available: http://www.geeksforgeeks.org/find-possible-words-phone-digits/

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