What I would give to hear Chiara’s voice.
The conversations we could have, oh my God if only. Through Chiara not developing speech (yet), I have had to learn to trust my intuition more than ever. Because sometimes, in certain situations it’s the only thing we have to communicate and understand one another.
And another amazing form of communication that Chiara has absolutely nailed is:
communication with the world using her eyes
This is where Eye Gaze technology comes in.
Eye tracking is the field of monitoring what people do with their eyes – observing what people choose to look at, how their eyes move, how their visual activities behave. Eye trackers are the instruments that measure our eye behaviour. They measure the directions that our eyes are pointed and predict our gaze points, i.e. the locations of the objects in space that we look at.
Many modern eye trackers are based on video cameras that observe our eyes and produce high-resolution images of our irises, pupils, and scleras. Light emitting diodes illuminate the eyes, and these LEDs produce reflections off the corneal surfaces to provide critical geometric information about the orientation of the eyeball.
Behind the cameras that capture the images of the eyes, an essential part of an eye tracker is the image processing function that identifies the eyes within the images, measures the geometric features of the eye elements, and computes the spatial positions and orientations of the eyes. Finally, eye trackers project the spatial locations of the eye’s gaze points. If a person is looking at a computer screen, for example, the gaze point may be expressed in x,y screen coordinates. (The aforementioned information from their website).
So here is Chiara trialling the software, which starts off with basic games and learning, yet it has all the options for Chiara to communicate with words. She can finally let us know all her wants and needs over time, as we learn.
We will be loaning the software and device, and hopefully we will be able to access one down the track!
How lucky are we to live in an era of modern advancements! Check out the video below, amazing!