Originally posted on bgr.
- Google developed another great accessibility app called Look to Speak, allowing people to speak with their eyes.
- The eye gaze app runs locally on a smartphone and uses the camera to track eye movements and then trigger appropriate actions on the screen.
- By moving their eyes to the left, right, and up, users can select from various prewritten phrases their desired replies and have the Android phone speak the selection aloud.
Over the years, Google has released a few incredible smartphone apps that you’ll hopefully never need to use. These apps employ the available technology in novel ways to improve accessibility to people suffering from all sorts of medical conditions that make it impossible to have regular smartphone or life experiences. The better smartphones gets in terms of hardware, the better these accessibility apps become, and the latest one is proof of that.
Google worked with speech and language therapist Richard Cave on the project, turning eye gaze technology that works on computers into a mobile app that’s readily available for download:
Using the handset’s front-facing camera, Look to Speak can interpret the eye movement of a user and translate them into actions on the screen. The user interface is made of three panels, one on the left, one on the right, and one on top. By looking to the left, right, and up, the user can choose from various prewritten phrases and confirm selections. The entire processing takes place on the device, and the phone will then speak the chosen phrase aloud so that other people can hear it.
Google has created a tutorial that teaches people to use the app and help those with speech and motor impediments get started. A more detailed guide that offers tips on using Look to Speak is available right here.
Apps like Look to Speak could work best in environments where eye gaze technology might not have been available previously. Android phones could be easily set up in a variety of instances without requiring any other gadgets, including outdoor settings, transit, or even the shower. “Now conversations can more easily happen where before there might have been silence,” Cove wrote in the blog post.
The app is available to download from the Play Store for free.