Benefits of the Look to Speak
Almost 2 years ago Google launched Look to Speak, an app that lets people use their eyes to select pre-written phrases and have them spoken out loud. Since then, the app has been translated into 18 languages. And recently, they made an application in Ukrainian to help refugees and war veterans via EyeGaze technology. A speech and language therapist who works at Google has seen how technology can help people express their daily needs, feelings, and personalities. Look to Speak can be particularly useful in Ukraine, where people are dealing with the injuries and side effects of war.
People are mainly left on their own with speech and motor impairments because:
1) There’s a shortage of speech-language therapists.
2) There are even fewer who understand what these patients deal with.
3) Therapy is costly and not everyone has the resources to afford it, especially in wartime.
When someone only has a speech disorder, they can still write to communicate. But when there are also movement disorders, people can end up unable to communicate. With Look to Speak, even if someone can't communicate with their mouth, they can communicate with their eyes. This allows caregivers and others around them to listen and understand in new ways. Communication is a two-way process, and Look to Speak can act as a bridge. Such initiatives as Look to Speak will not only provide new opportunities for our citizens, but will also become a model for other technology companies that currently support Ukraine.
Our team decided to focus on the idea of camera control. The face recognition task is now well described and several fast algorithms are available. We have researched how to implement the idea of steering through the position of the head and eyes. In the example of a game prototype, it was shown that using the position of the head and the directions of the gaze it is possible to achieve control without using hands.
As an extension of the implementation of the technology, the following directions, which are no longer related to the gaming industry, are planned, for example:
- interfaces for people with special needs
- navigation in games and applications
- research in psychology and medicine
- marketing and usability
- monitoring in security systems (cars, dispatchers)
We are excited to keep up with the leading AI companies!