The challenge

It can be difficult to tell when somebody who uses an eye tracker to operate their communications software is communicating. So the temptation is to look over their shoulder. Fil McIntyre, The Head Technologist at Beaumont College asked if it is possible to create an indicator for when the communications software is in use. This enables a more natural two way conversation. You talk to the assistive technology (AT) user and when you see the light flashing, you know that a reply is being prepared.

The solution

A BBC micro:bit with custom software is attached to the communication device. When the text in the communication software is changed the micro:bit LEDs flash.

The project page can be found here:

https://mattoppenheim.com/give-me-a-minute/

Full build and software installation details can be found here:

https://hardwaremonkey.github.io/microbit_activity_indicator/

The benefit

Give me a Minute enables more natural two way conversation with people using AAC operated through eye gaze or switches.

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