A standard wheelchair will require the two arms of the person sitting in it to get around all by him or herself, but what happens when said person has lost the use of both limbs? While there are plans by the likes of Emotiv to roll out a mind-controlled wheelchair, scientists over in London happen to be developing a wheelchair which is said to be able to move its passenger seated on it in this simple manner – by looking in the direction that one would like to travel.
Should this particular research and development end up as a success, then we could be looking at a new generation of relatively more affordable software that delivers better mobility to paralyzed people as well as those who have lost the use of their arms.
Peel away at the many technological layers, and eventually one will arrive at this premise – the computer system will be able to figure out just where your eye is looking at, in order to interpret such “commands” while bringing the wheelchair to the desired location. A pair of cameras that are constantly trained on the eyes will be able to observe one’s movements, telling the difference between the intention to move somewhere and just checking out the environment. It is hoped that this unique system will be made available commercially in three years’ time.