Dr. Jean Lorenceau of the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris has developed a medical device that translates eye movements into handwriting. A paper discussing his invention appeared in the journal Current Biology.
The gadget was previously not possible because the human eye responds instinctively to surroundings and makes lots of involuntary movements. People actually do not have much control over the organ. Lorenceau found that an optical illusion called reverse phi motion allowed him to create a tracking system for the voluntary smooth eye movements. He said that with a 90-minute training session, a person could use the system to write 20 characters in a minute.
While that isn't exactly lightning-speed writing, the system offers a new mode of expression for people with disabilities. Along with letters, patients can use Lorenceau's device to write numbers, words, or drawings. Between eye-controlled handwriting and thought-controlled robots, the future of medicine has never seemed closer.
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