New System helps severely motor-impaired individuals type more quickly and accurately
Many individuals with severe motor impairments can communicate using computer interfaces where they select words in an onscreen grip by activating a single switch, this could be by pressing a button, releasing a puff of air, or blinking. These row-column scanning systems are old-fashioned, rigid and often frustratingly slow for users.
A more flexible system, called Nomon, is now being developed by MIT researchers. This system places a small analog clock next to any option a user can select on a computer screen, so that they no longer need to cycle through a grid of choices to make a selection. The user looks at one option and then clicks their switch when that clock’s hand passes a red ‘noon’ line. There is also a webcam-based switch available which requires users to lean their bodies to one side of the screen and then back to the other side to register a click.