Eyegaze Edge - Anyone familiar with this?

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JimInVA

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Greetings!


We're looking at the Eyegaze Edge from LC Technologies and wondered if any of you had any experience with and/or comments about it. Our first Tobii of about 4 years ago was pretty much worthless... so we'd like to not duplicate the process. Any comments would be much appreciated.


My best...


Jim
 

lgelb

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I have no direct experience but have heard good things. As with any system, I would try before you buy -- ask for nearby references or consult your state's assistive technology loaner program.
 

JimInVA

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I know that the local ALSorg loaner closet purchased 2 of them. Unfortunately, it seems that they have already been assigned out. The company rep (who also appears in a number of their YouTube videos), has offered to come to us to do an onsite demo (or at least that is my understanding... and I'm seeking verification of that). Anyway, just trying to dot my i's and cross my t's! Thanks for replying!


Jim
 

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Jim;

We have had the Tobii for several months now but have not needed it for Sibyl to communicate. She still has limited use of her arms and hands and the white board and hand signals suffice.

I have recently been working on calibration and think I have finally got it right. While I haven’t tried many of the supposed features I am not pleased with it so far. they told us she would be able to engage her phone through the device. Not so, only special phones - not hers - and limited ability on those that are supported. Unfortnately, I have been unable to get someone here from Tobii.

A lot of Medicare money spent for limited to no utility.
 

JimInVA

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Ernie,


And if you have a Tobii, it is a more recent version than the one that we have. It is supposed to have some updated software that our older one can't run. It might be worth giving Regan Flores of the ALS Association a call. She will come out to you to verify that you have current software and can also provide some basic training. You can reach her at rflores at alsinfo dot org. I do believe that Regan is handing off her job function to someone else who takes over in December... so she might refer you to him.


My best...


Jim
 

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Jim;

Regan was scheduled to be here last week but called and canceled. She rescheduled for December. Interesting that someone else will be taking over in December.

There have been no updates to the software since we acquired the device several months ago.

Ernie
 

JimInVA

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We just had a demo of the Eyegaze Edge. This was to determine "if" and "how well" it would work if Darcey were to get one. When done with the demo, I walked the sales rep back to his car. Upon returning into the house, I walked back to Darcey to see what she thought. Tears of joy and a smile that ran ear to ear let me know, without her having to speak a single word, what she felt. We're going to have a new Eyegaze Edge in the New Year. :)


Jim
 

Nikki J

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That is awesome! What made it so much more user friendly? I had a mini demo of eye control which is different type of system and needs no calibration
 

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We got the Eyegaze....shopped several brands including the Tobii. At the time, 3 yrs ago...it was the most advanced device and software that we looked at...and was the most 'adaptable' to different positions, ie Power chair, floor/bedside mount. Using the floor mount, I could position it whether Tracy was sitting or laying flat in the bed. We were told that the Tobii would not be very usable once laying in bed. In time, it became priceless. Communication would have been near impossible from the hospital bed. She was able to use it right until she didn't need it anymore...used it to communicate her final wishes to the doctor. They had me leave the room during that conversation. For me, that was priceless. She was able to call her own shots, I didn't have to speak for her.

good luck Jim.

tc
 

JimInVA

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There were a number of reasons this Eyegaze seems so much better than our Tobii. First, was the calibration process. It took a lot of trial and error with the Tobii to get it calibrated. And then, the least bit of repositioning in the chair required a tedious re-calibration. With the Eyegaze, we first moved the tablet into a position that was comfortable for Darcey to read. Then, the camera (mounted below the tablet) was pointed towards Darcey's eye and focused. You could easily tell it was pointed correctly as you could see her face in one small square and her iris in the other small square next to it. Somehow, it knows to lock onto the iris. The calibration process then begins and one follows dots that come onto the screen as they appear. This calibrates the eye to the location on the screen and takes about 30 seconds. Having watched this process, I believe I could get Darcey re-calibrated in less than 2 minutes if I needed to.


The software layout is intuitive and easy to use. This was not training, today... just a demo. But Darcey was typing notes, ringing bells, opening email, accessing the internet and browsing Facebook in mere minutes. It was extremely accurate. When she pointed her eyes at something, the cursor was right there. When compared to the tremendous frustration that accompanied Darcey's weeks of unsuccessfully trying to use the Tobii, the Eyegaze was the clear winner. We have elected to get a stand with it that will work with Darcey's wheelchair and with her in bed. It is nice that the one stand is adjustable enough to work with both environments.


We offered to buy one of these... but the Eyegaze rep (James Brinton) that we were working with said, "Let me see what I can do with one of my corporate sponsors, first." I'm not absolutely sure, but I think this is what happened. I believe that James got his corporate sponsor to buy one of the Eyegaze devices so that LC Technologies (the mfr) could donate the device to our local ALS Association Loaner Locker... with the understanding that it would be loaned to us if today's demo proved successful. So rather than to have to purchase one (our insurance would not pay for it for another year), they worked enough magic so as to cause one to become available to our local loaner locker. Seriously... in today's day and age... how very cool is that!?!


Jim
 

Nikki J

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That’s awesome Jim. Does Darcey wear glasses? If so couldshe wear them and use it?

Did you get a price quote?

Can you use our mmodel talker voice?

Thanks
 

JimInVA

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Nikki,


Darcey DOES wear glasses. She has progressive lens bifocals. With the Tobii, the only way we could get it to calibrate was to take her glasses off, calibrate and then put her glasses back on. With the Eyegaze, she had no difficulties with her glasses on.


When we were contemplating an out of pocket purchase, I was given a $12,000-$13,000 price range... and was told that if I wanted to proceed on that path that they would provide a more detailed written quote. In all conversations, they wanted to do a demo to be assured that (1) the device would work with the person, (2) would work with acceptable precision and (3) was deemed to be desired as useful by the person who would use it... and to do that demo before any other commitment was made. There was not a moment during any conversation or email correspondence that I felt they wanted to do anything more than to carve a path through the jungle that resulted in us getting use of one of their devices... and without cost to us if possible. He wasn't sure of the cost of the massive stand that he had with him... but believed it to be in the 1-2K price for this german made stand. I'll try to remember to update when we purchase.


I'm not sure what mmodel talker voice is... so can't comment. But it does interface with the Amazon Alexa (and other devices?).


Most importantly, to me, Darcey is excited about the prospect of being able to continue doing those things that she so loves to do during the day... even as her voice is slowly kissing her with its last goodbye.


Jim
 

Nikki J

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Thanks so much Jim

Model talker is when you have banked your own voice the eye control system is not set up for it though they claimed to be working on it. When I asked she said everyone asks for it.

This sounds a lot better than what my sister had. I played with it myself and it was tiring and frustrating as you know. And to be able to use it with glasses is great. I am so happy for you both.

Give Darcey an extra hug from me!
 

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I'm truly shedding a happy tear here - this is amazing Jim. Both that the technology is working so well and easily, and that they organised a donation. Just WOW :shock: :D
 
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