Samsung launches eye mouse system

Samsung has launched a system that allows people to compose and edit documents and browse the web through simple eye movement. Heralded as the first device of its kind in that it does not require users to wear any device, Eyecan+ is a portable box that sits below the display and works by wirelessly calibrating with the user's eye.

Calibration is only required for first-time users, as Eyecan+ will remember each user’s eye characteristics. Users can also adjust the sensitivity of Eyecan+ for both calibration and actual use. It requires the user to be between 60cm and 70cm from the monitor, and does not require the user to be in any specific position, as it can be used while seated or lying down.

Once calibrated, the Eyecan+ user interface (UI) will appear as a pop-up menu in one of two different modes, rectangular menu board or floating menu wheel, both of which contain 18 different commands. Both menu types can be configured to remain at the fore of the screen.

Samsung designed the system for use by people with disabilities, and the company will not release it commercially. However, the scope of applications may broaden when Samsung makes the technology and design of Eyecan+ open source for companies and organisations that wish to bring the eye mouse system to market.

“Eyecan+ is the result of a voluntary project initiated by our engineers, and reflects their passion and commitment to engage more people in our community,” said SiJeong Cho, VP of Community Relations at Samsung Electronics. Samsung’s first eye mouse was introduced in March 2012.

The calibration sensitivity and overall user experience (UX) of Eyecan+ has been significantly upgraded according to the company, in part thanks to Hyung-Jin Shin, a graduate student in computer science at Yonsei University in Seoul. Born quadriplegic, Shin had worked with Samsung on Eyecan between 2011-12, and took on a role in developing the Eyecan+ UX by piloting the eye mouse over the course of 17 months and working with Samsung engineers to ensure the range of functions and commands remained practical and easy to access and use.

Samsung will manufacture a limited quantity of Eyecan+ systems to donate to charity organisations.