Gazespeak a Microsoft app allows people with ALS to speak with their eyes

By TechNadu Staff / February 20, 2017

Researchers at Microsoft have developed an app that lets people speak with their eyes. People who are affected by ALS(amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also know as motor neurone disease) has a hard time by losing strength and the ability to speak, eat or move. Gazespeak makes the talking through the eyes.

The app can interpret eye gestures in by real-time monitoring and decode each gesture to a possibly predictive sentence that could in turn aid communication.

The listener Pointing the app-enabled smartphone at the person as if taking a photo. Motor Impairment affects voluntary muscle movement so they can move only the eyes.

The speaker can say the word with the help of stickers attached back on the phone, shows a grid with letter groups into four boxes corresponding to left, right, up and down. Each time the speaker's eyes turn towards a direction the signals are recorded.

“For example, to say the word ‘task’ they first look down to select the group containing ‘t’, then up to select the group containing ‘a’, and so on,” says Xiaoyi Zhang, who developed GazeSpeak whilst he was an intern at Microsoft.


The current eye-tracking system input systems are very expensive not robust and Eye-gaze transfer (e-tran) boards, a low-tech alternative, are challenging to master and offer slow communication rates.

To overcome these drawbacks Gazespeak was the best alternative which provides robustness, offering good user satisfaction and pretty faster comparing to the e-tran board. The researcher also told, "In Future improvements, we will go with low-cost, low-effort gaze-based communication technologies".

Gazespeaker integration with the eye tracking system is available on Windows devices to interact with environment and web uniquely with their eyes.

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