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Earswitch

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The challenge

Description : Ear switch as an assistive communication and control device / gaming switch and HCI

A USB otoscope camera detects voluntary movement of a middle ear muscle (tensor tympani), to control assistive technology software (Grid3), the Microsoft On-Screen Keyboard , and as an “left-click” selection as an adjunct for eViacam head- tracking software.

75% of people recognise that they can contract their tensor tympani (a rumbling sound or muffling of the hearing eg when yawning/ tightly closing eyes etc). 17% could generate the contraction in isolation to other movements.

I have shown with a USB auroscope from Amazon that this causes movement of the eardrum, and I have detected this movement with iSpy motion detection software and successfully used it to control (handsfree); asssistive software (Grid3), the On-Screen Keyboard and to function as a “left click” for head tracking.

I hope this can help people to communicate and can be used for other assistive technology control, and to make eyetracking more efficient.

The solution

I have posted full details on Hackaday whilst awaiting registration on this site; I apologise that I didn’t post here first, but I am hoping that by presenting how to set up the prototype will give people an opportunity to trial this.

I am also hoping that others may also find ways of improving this.

Here’s the link:

https://hackaday.io/project/169110-earswitch-assistive-technology-switch-new-hci

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