I recently took delivery of my eyegaze system which allows me to control a computer with my eyes. The system includes software which makes typing documents, email and texts easier.
Anything typed can be read aloud so it will become my primary communications method once my voice finally goes, which won't be long. The system theoretically will allow me to anything in Windows but in practice most things require too fine mouse control to be controlled with eye movements so the days of video editing are numbered I fear. But I will be able to keep the blog updated albeit with mainly textual content.
The main restriction of the system is that it is not mounted on the wheelchair yet so I can only hold conversations in my office where the computer is mounted on the desk. Hopefully get it mobile in a couple of weeks. The other thing it does is environmental control, so anything with infrared control could be operated from this, so I haven't got to struggle with TV remotes.
The whole system uses " grids " as shown in the picture and they are user definable, so I've been spending a lot of time designing grids to suit me while I can still use a mouse! While this is all very clever, like everything else MND associated it only comes at a price and in this case its in the same league as a family car. But like wheelchair, I think its a price worth paying for being able to communicate.
Of course using a computer to speak in a social situation has some limitations as I discovered last weekend. one of the problems, is that you are always contributing to the subject everybody else was talking about 3 minutes earlier. The other thing is that by the time you've typed something somebody else has already said it.
Of course I can use pre-prepared sentences so I have a few prepared for specific situations. One of them is " I think you're talking bollocks because.... "; the recipient will just have to wait another 5 minutes to find out why "!