Samsung’s eye-tracking device brings Internet access to disabled users

Samsung has revealed a new, updated version of its eye-tracking mouse, aimed at making using a computer more accessible to those with disabilities.

Eyecan+ uses both hardware and software in order to track the user’s eye movements, enabling them to navigate the web, as well as compose and edit documents.

Read more: The 3D-printed interactive map helping the visually impaired find their way around

People with disabilities, particularly those that impair movement, can find using technology challenging, so Eyecan+ is designed to take away some of these hurdles.

Situated beneath the display, the device automatically calibrates with the user’s eye movements and then launches an onscreen menu consisting of a number of different commands. Users simply look at a command to select it and blink to confirm.

The user interface contains a total of 18 different command options, including scrolling, copying and zooming, and memorises characteristics of the operator so the calibration process only needs to occur once. Additional custom modifications can be made however, should the configuration not suit the user.

The Eyecan+ was initially unveiled back in 2012, but a number of its features, including the accuracy of its eye tracking software,b have now been improved.

While the primary aim of technology is to make our lives easier, it has sometimes neglected users in most need of help. However, technologies are increasingly focused on improving accessibility for those with disabilities. Earlier this month, another firm announced the Sesame smartphone which can be operated by voice commands and head gestures alone.

Read more: ‘Open Sesame’: The touch-free smartphone operated by voice and head gestures only

Samsung does not currently have any plans in place to make the Eyecan+ available commercially, instead opting to give a limited number of the devices to charity organisations. The South Korean firm has announced, however, that it plans to make the technology and design of the product open source, meaning other companies could release their own versions of the Eyecan+.