BlinkEye is an alternative communication device by controlling a PC with just a blink of an eye and concerns people with reduced communication capacity. It can be applied to everyone that can make an intentional eye blinking even to people with complete paralysis of all controlled muscles, except those controlling eye movements like people with locked-in syndrome. It detects the intended eye blinking and sends a keyboard or mouse command to the computer. BlinkEye can improve the quality of life of such people as the ability of communication is feasible again.
Its principle of operation is based on an infrared sensor that records the amount of infrared light that is reflected back to it. It consists of two parts: a photodiode and a sensitive photoreceptor. The more light the photo resistor receives, the lower the output voltage it produces. Thus, light-colored surfaces (e.g., skin color) reflect more light compared to the darker ones (eyelash and eyebrow), so the output voltage when the sensor is on a light-colored surface will be much smaller than in a darker color.
Detecting this sudden change in voltage it can recognize when the user blinked his eyes. Then, through a microcontroller board and a Bluetooth wireless protocol, the device can communicate with the computer and simulate the operation of a mouse, keyboard, or switch and send the corresponding commands.
BlinkEye can be connected to special software that uses automatic scanning and thus enables the user to write and speak through the computer as well as the ability to fully control it.
Great emphasis was placed on being fully customizable as the need for personalization is a requisite. Also the user can have two sensors (one for each eye) and send different commands, depending on the eye that closes, to the applications and programs it uses.
The biggest benefits from this device are its ability to be fully customizable and its simplicity of use as the user makes just a simple intentional eye blinking to control his computer and to communicate. Furthermore it can be used by anyone, regardless his age and has a very easy and quick installation as it fits to the head like any glasses and can be used everywhere. Due to its very small size and position, it is out from the visual field of the user so it doesn’t affect or disturb his vision.
The device will be made of plastic. Depending on the amount of orders the manufacturing process will be different. For small orders the 3D printing process will be preferred due to the fixed cost per item. For bigger orders the injection molding process will be preferred due to its quicker production procedure and lower cost per item.
Its price is expected to be between 100€-150€, depending on the customization and the amount of orders.