How can I use the built in camera in my device for eye gaze or head tracking without additional hardware?

CoughDrop has created an open source option to use the built-in camera on a device to attempt to allow AAC usage with eye gaze or head tracking.  This feature is available, but its performance depends greatly on the function and abilities of the device being used.  

Anyone can enable the eye gaze or head tracking option to attempt to use these functions while working within CoughDrop or Co-VidSpeak.

Adjust Your CoughDrop Account Settings

To enable your device camera to attempt to function with eye gaze or head tracking, open the drop-down menu under your user icon in the top right corner of your CoughDrop screen and select "preferences."

On the preferences page, scroll down to the "device preferences" section and open the "dwell/eye-tracking" option.
Select the box to enable these settings.  This will open an additional menu.  

Under the heading "dwell type" select "head tracking."

 

 

 

You can now customize the dwell options to fit the needs of your specific communicator.  Be aware that these dwell options are highly dependant on the available functions of the device you are using and will perform differently on different devices.  

Be sure to save your account preferences at the bottom of the page before you leave the preferences options.  

Note: The BEST eye gaze option will always be a dedicated piece of eye gaze hardware designed specifically to support these functions. This option using the available camera in a device is a secondary option for those that do not have access to such hardware.  

 

Enter Speak Mode

Once your preferences have been adjusted and saved, you can enter speak mode for the account to try the function.  The program will initialize and calibrate each time you enter speak mode.  

You can use head movements to maneuver the cursor through the communication set in speak mode.  

 

Depending on the abilities of your device camera and integrated options, you may be able to make selections using facial expressions or you may need to use dwell time to select options.  

It may take a bit of testing to find the best option for the device you are using.  It may also take some practice to learn to be able to control the cursor well on your specific device.  

Adjust Your Co-VidSpeak Session Settings

First, you will need to enter Co-VidSpeak using your join code for sessions.  Once within a session, you can adjust the access options for the session.  This adjustment will need to be made each time you enter a session.  

Hit the "more" button on the left of your screen then select "settings."  Look for the "configure access" button and select that option.  

 

Under the alternative access options, choose head tracking or eye-gaze tracking.  Each of these options may work differently on your device so you may need to do some testing to see which is the best option for your device and communicator.  

The program will then initialize and calibrate to try to match the user to the camera and technology.  Once configured, you will be able to use slight head movements or eye-gaze movements to control the cursor and make button selections while communicating in Co-VidSpeak.

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