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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] NYTimes.com Article: A Gaze That Dictates, With Intuitive Software as the Scribe

Thanks, Henry    (01)

I'm new to unrev and fleabye, so forgive me if I post anything that's 
been discussed before I arrived. :-\    (02)

There are several other demonstrations and a download area at
http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/    (03)

which is the homepage of the site Jack posted
http://sourceforge.net/projects/dasher/    (04)

Gary    (05)

Henry K van Eyken wrote:    (06)

> ... and http://www.fleabyte.org/eic-9.html#2AQ
> Geez, I am getting to be unfit for this job.
> Henry
> Henry K van Eyken wrote:
>> Not trying hard enough, apparently. Reference should be
>> http://www.fleabyte.org/eic-15.html#2L
>> :(
>> Henry K van Eyken wrote:
>>> Gary.
>>> You might like the little Dasher gif found at
>>> http://www.fleabyte.org/eic-14.html#2L
>>> We had been following this story for some time, see
>>> http://www.fleabyte.org/eic-8.html#2AO
>>> You'll find there also references to some other input systems
>>> Henry
>>> P.S. If I am tooting our own horn a little bit, it is because 
>>> Fleabyte is trying very hard to create a connection between people 
>>> and digital augmentation.
>>> garyrichmond@rcn.com wrote:
>>>> This article from NYTimes.com
>>>> has been sent to you by garyrichmond@rcn.com.
>>>> Dasher--demonstrations and download.
>>>> garyrichmond@rcn.com
>>>> A Gaze That Dictates, With Intuitive Software as the Scribe
>>>> September 12, 2002
>>>> PEOPLE who cannot use a keyboard or mouse - quadriplegics
>>>> or those with Lou Gehrig's disease, for instance - often
>>>> use their gaze instead.
>>>> Typically they select characters to type by staring at keys
>>>> pictured on an onscreen keyboard; in many systems, the
>>>> direction of their gaze is then captured by a computer
>>>> equipped with an eye-tracking system.
>>>> Now gamelike software developed by two British physicists
>>>> at the University of Cambridge promises to speed up this
>>>> laborious process, permitting rapid, accurate writing by
>>>> eye.
>>>> Dr. David J. C. MacKay, a professor at the university's
>>>> Cavendish Laboratory and leader of the research team, said
>>>> that the new software relieves eyes of peering fixedly at
>>>> successive areas on the screen when writing.
>>>> "Eyes did not evolve to push onscreen buttons," he said.
>>>> "That's exhausting." Instead, the software, called Dasher,
>>>> uses a different capability of the eye - its natural knack
>>>> for navigating, for instance, when walking down the street,
>>>> driving a car, or, in the case of Dasher, playing what
>>>> often looks and feels like an onscreen game.
>>>> Although its purpose is serious, the software, which the
>>>> researchers described last month in the journal Nature, is
>>>> reminiscent of many enjoyable computer games. At the start,
>>>> Dasher displays the letters of the alphabet in a column on
>>>> the right side of a colorful screen. As the user's eyes run
>>>> down the column and locate the first desired letter, say
>>>> the "h" to begin "hello," the view on the computer screen
>>>> zooms in so that the area around the "h" grows larger and
>>>> the letter stands out, appearing to float on the screen.
>>>> Then the software predicts the most likely successor to
>>>> join that "h," releasing "a, e, i, o, u" as possible
>>>> candidates for selection. People use their gaze to choose
>>>> the letters they want - or reject those they don't - helped
>>>> by the software, which poses likely options to complete
>>>> "hel" like "hello."
>>>> After an hour's practice, Dasher users could write at up to
>>>> 25 words per minute, compared with 15 words per minute for
>>>> users of the onscreen keyboard. Onscreen keyboard users had
>>>> five times the error rate of Dasher users.
>>>> John Paulin Hansen, an associate professor at the IT
>>>> University of Copenhagen who does research on eye-typing
>>>> systems, said that Dasher was a fast, intuitive way of
>>>> typing for people who cannot use their limbs.
>>>> "This work is a breakthrough in terms of typing speed," he
>>>> said. "Twenty-five words is really something."
>>>> The software is free and can be downloaded at
>>>> www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher. The program can be
>>>> controlled with an ordinary mouse; Dasher can be directed
>>>> by a variety of continuous pointing gestures, including
>>>> those made by a mouse or a gaze transduced by an eye
>>>> tracker. In an experiment in which a mouse was used as the
>>>> steering device, Dasher's capability was reported at 34
>>>> words per minute. Because of its versatility, Dasher may
>>>> one day prove useful for writing on miniature computer
>>>> screens, Dr. MacKay said.
>>>> For the test that was reported in Nature, Dr. MacKay and
>>>> his collaborator, David J. Ward, used the text of Jane
>>>> Austen's "Emma," feeding Dasher 90 percent of the novel so
>>>> that the software would be familiar with its style. Then
>>>> people in the experiment took dictation from the remaining
>>>> 10 percent of the book. They listened to sentences like
>>>> "One thing only was wanting to make the prospect of the
>>>> ball completely satisfactory to Emma," and reproduced them
>>>> at their computer screens with hands-free writing, using
>>>> their gaze to create the text. The results were compared
>>>> with parallel sessions in which people used an onscreen
>>>> keyboard and eye tracker to take dictation.
>>>> The eye tracker used in the experiment was manufactured by
>>>> EyeTech Digital Systems of Mesa, Ariz. The president of the
>>>> company, Robert Chappell, said he planned to bundle Dasher
>>>> with the gaze-tracking device.
>>>> "Not everybody is going to switch," he said. "Some people
>>>> may prefer to look at a big rectangle on a computer screen
>>>> and choose each letter." But he said he expected that
>>>> Dasher would appeal to many of his customers. "It's like
>>>> driving a car - you steer after the letters and you see
>>>> words form, so you can navigate your way to phrases and
>>>> sentences."
>>>> Dr. Fraser Shein, an engineering professor at the
>>>> University of Toronto who is a creator of an onscreen
>>>> keyboard, said that Dasher had potential. "His approach may
>>>> be more advantageous than pointing to a keyboard with
>>>> fixed-size keys that must be pushed usually by activating a
>>>> physical switch or pausing over a key," he said.
>>>> But Dasher may not be appropriate for users who need a full
>>>> range of writing and editing functions, he said. He also
>>>> had reservations about the display, which he thought might
>>>> tax users. "It requires the eye to view many alternatives
>>>> which are constantly changing," he said.
>>>> Dr. Hansen said he wondered how well the elderly would
>>>> adapt to Dasher and that he planned to devise experiments
>>>> to test that concern. "The floating characters in Dasher
>>>> are a new approach that you have to get used to," he said.
>>>> "We think it is a natural for youngsters, but we'll need
>>>> information to clarify the issue of whether the elderly
>>>> will be comfortable."
>>>> Dr. MacKay has some advice for people learning to use
>>>> Dasher, regardless of their age. "Start by driving slowly,"
>>>> he said, that is, pointing your gaze or mouse in the
>>>> direction you want to go and then heading there at a
>>>> moderate pace. "Start as you would if you were driving a
>>>> lawn mower," he said. "After about 10 minutes, you can
>>>> switch to a Ferrari."
>>>> http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/12/technology/circuits/12NEXT.html?ex=1033098937&ei=1&en=984c8badb4d219c0 
>>>> <http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/12/technology/circuits/12NEXT.html?ex=1033098937&ei=1&en=984c8badb4d219c0> 
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>>>>    (07)