Samsung Just Gave the Disabled a Way to Click a Mouse With Their Eyes

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"Nice to meet you, everyone. I am happy that the eye mouse is developed in Korea. The eye mouse isn't just an IT device, but arms and legs for a patient with advanced disease. I hope that these kind of research will be continued."

That was the message that Hyung-Jin Shin sent out today in Seoul, South Korea, with the help of Samsung’s “eye mouse,” or Eyecan+, The Verge reports. It took an estimated 20 minutes to complete, but for Shin, a graduate student at Yonsei University who has been quadriplegic since birth, it was a step toward greater independence.

Related: A Device That Interprets Sign Language Is Now Being Crowdfunded

The technology is designed to give people with disabilities a way to navigate a computer using just the movement of their eyes.  Users can highlight a command with a look, and blinking acts as clicking a mouse button. Eyecan+ also has drag-and-drop capabilities.

Unlike the first Eyecan, which came out in 2012, Eyecan+ no longer requires that the user wear specific glasses. Instead, the unit now fits underneath a user’s computer monitor.

Though it costs less to make than those of competitors, making the self-contained Eyecan+ units are expensive -- approximately $500 -- and the market of individual consumers would be niche, so Samsung does not plan to sell the product in retail stores, according to The Verge. Yet, the company has open-souced the units, and other businesses have expressed interest in using the technology.   

In addition to people who are paralyzed, the website for the Eyecan says that the creators of the device hoped to improve the quality of life of people with conditions like Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and Locked-In Syndrom (LIS).

Related: 5 Social-Media Marketing Lessons From the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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