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Gazing to the future - utilising eye tracking technology to provide control of multimedia entertainment platform

Date: 11/26/2014 12:00:00 AM
November 2014 - In the new Intel® IOT Ignition Lab, in Swindon, a demonstration will be shown of control of an interactive healthcare multimedia platform utilising eye tracking technology.
This solution was realized by Advantech, Airwave, Ice Middleware,Tobii and Intel Corpporation.
 
Increasing the independence for people with limited motor skills because of ALS, spinal cord injuries or other impairments, was the motivation for Tobii to introduce the Tobii PCEye Go. Together with Ice Software Solutions, a developer of multimedia patient infotainment software products, Airwave Healthcare, a specialist entertainment systems integrator, and Advantech, manufacturer of medical certified touch panel pcs, an efficient and modern system was created to provide the user with improved social interaction, independent recreation, education possibilities and even allowing them to create a workplace.
 
Typically patient bedside multimedia systems are controlled either via physical buttons, a remote control or by a multifunction touchscreen terminal. Whilst meeting the needs of the majority of patients these control functions can create an access barrier to patients with significantly reduce motor functionality, which could have resulted from strokes, brain or spinal injuries. Technology has a key role to play in delivering equal access to all irrespective of any physical limitations.
How to enable TV/PES/Multimedia control without physical contact and from restricted bed positions (as needed in a dedicated spinal injuries unit) whilst maintaining dignity, comfort, independence and satisfaction (enjoyable experience) resulted in an offering to market by PES integration specialist Airwave Healthcare working in conjunction with ICE, Tobii and Advantech.
The challenge for this application was to bring together a consortium of hardware and software technology companies with the same vision of delivering a product/platform that could meet this specific demand.
A working partnership already exists between embedded technology manufacturer Advantech, Specialist PES/Multimedia integrator Airwave Healthcare and specialist middleware developer ICE Software Solutions Ltd. This core partnership invited Swedish eye tracking specialist, Tobii, to join the partnership. Tobii provided its PCEye Goeye tracking hardware and software for development integration with Advantechs HIT series of healthcare touchscreen terminals and existing ICE middleware configurations utilised by Airwave. The integration of the Tobii PCEye Go facilitated visual control, facilitating access/use by patients with reduced motor control functionality, of an already proven touchscreen based healthcare multimedia system from Advantech, Airwave and ICE.
The Advantech HIT series of healthcare touchscreens use embedded Intel architecture which facilitates the inclusion of windows based dedicated healthcare middleware from ICE Software Solutions. This easy to use intuitive system is delivered, installed and supported by Airwave Healthcare utilising a range of mounting and delivery infrastructures.
The Advantech HIT series are based on the Intel® Atom D525 or the Intel® Core i7 Series processor, which allows for a slim fanless design without compromising on the performance.
 
The Tobii PCEye Go is a peripheral eye tracker that enhances system accessibility with the speed, power, and accuracy, of gaze interaction. The device replaces the standard physical control equipment (mouse, touchscreens, remote controls or hard buttons), allowing users to navigate and control a device using only their eyes.
The PCEye Go runs on standard Windows computers and tablets; users can work with any application normally controlled by a standard computer mouse, or through touch. Patients could thus, for example, ‘surf the Web’, access and change television channels, obtain information on key hospital services, ‘Skype’ or even control the room lights, blinds, or ventilation. They can also use the technology to communicate with clinicians and nurses.

From left to right: Hector Minto Tobii , Rod O’Shea Intel EMEA, Paul Chambers Airwave Europe, Manick Choraria ICE Middleware

Working closely together to develop an integrated hardware and software platform has resulted in a product that will have significant impact on the independence, dignity and comfort for those patients that have previously had restricted access to hospital services. The same services that most of us take for granted.

 
The individual hardware/software package has a quick and easy to use calibration set up for each patient. After calibration the “user” looks at their menu selection icon (e.g. TV or internet) and the PCEye Go detects the area of the screen where gaze is focussed and sends an instruction to the system middleware to activate that icon choice.
 
 
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About Advantech
Founded in 1983, Advantech is a leader in providing trusted, innovative products, services, and solutions. Advantech offers comprehensive system integration, hardware, software, customer-centric design services, embedded systems, automation products, and global logistics support. We cooperate closely with our partners to help provide complete solutions for a wide array of applications across a diverse range of industries. Our mission is to enable an intelligent planet with Automation and Embedded Computing products and solutions that empower the development of smarter working and living. With Advantech, there is no limit to the applications and innovations our products make possible. (Corporate Website: www.advantech.eu).
 
About Airwave Healthcare
Airwave is an established leader in the healthcare and hospitality markets; specialising in the provision of Freeview, IPTV, Full Media Entertainment television solutions to the healthcare and hospitality industry. Airwave have supplied and installed audio visual entertainment solutions in over 4,500 Hotels, Hospitals and Commercial buildings. Airwave partners with the world’s leading brands to provide full system design, installation, implementation, management and maintenance services.
Uniquely Airwave has developed a range of specific and essential innovative healthcare accessories which gives us a product and solutions profile unrivalled by other organisations.
 
About Ice Software Solutions
Since 2002 ICE have been developing multimedia applications integrating Information, Communication and Entertainment (ICE). We have extensive experience in the healthcare sector for which we have a wide range of specialized applications enabling increased efficiency, security and safety. ICE Middleware is customized to each client’s Graphics, Branding and Hardware platform requirements. (Website: www.ICEMiddleware.com)
 
 
About Tobii
Tobii Technology is the global leader in eye tracking, and is pioneering eye tracking in personal computing, has transformed research in many fields and has enabled communication for thousands of people with special needs. The company develops and delivers core eye-tracking technology as well as a comprehensive solution for interaction and analytical applications. Tobii is headquartered in Sweden and operates through three divisions: Tobii OEM Solutions, Tobii Dynavox and Tobii Analysis Solutions, with offices in the United States, China, Germany, Japan and Norway, and a global network of resellers. Founded in 2001, Tobii continues to achieve rapid annual growth and receive awards and recognition for its accomplishments. www.tobii.com.