ALS patients suffer from progressive degeneration of motor neurons, which leads to muscle atrophy and loss of motor functions. However, in many cases, oculomotor neurons are preserved, enabling controlled movement of the eyes even when the body is otherwise paralyzed. LusoVU, a Portuguese technology company founded by the son of an ALS patient, has just successfully completed its Kickstarter campaign, raising $128,181 to bring their new product, Eyespeak, to the market within 6 months. The device monitors the user’s eye position by integrating a miniature camera, a microphone and a speaker. Users will be able to type words using movement of the eyes, and have them spoken via a synthetic voice. The device is expected to dramatically improve communication for ALS patients whose speak or ability to otherwise communicate are impaired by disease.
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