A lip reading click device for disabled computer users

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$718,456.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
2R44HD053211-02
Award Id:
81122
Agency Tracking Number:
HD053211
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
VORTANT TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, 88 HIGH COUNTRY RD, WEAVERVILLE, NC, 28787
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
155118362
Principal Investigator:
PHILIPSCHAEFER
(828) 645-1026
PHIL@VORTANT.COM
Business Contact:
PHILIPSCHAEFER
() -
liz@vortant.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project aims to improve the quality of life, computer accessibility, and employment potential for spinal cord injured (SCI) and other individuals who cannot use a standard computer keyboard and mouse. Some assistiv e products, such as head trackers, are suitable for controlling the position of the mouse pointer. However, most such pointing products do not provide an unobtrusive or efficient means for creating mouse clicks. The Phase I SBIR project developed a proof o f concept unit that can detect subtle gestures made by the mouth or lips of the user, and interpret these as mouse clicks or other types of switch output, providing a quick and efficient solution to many user needs. In Phase II, we plan to: a) Refine the r equirements for the prototype lip reading device, based on inputs from people with disability, therapists, technologists, and potential employers, b) Upgrade the sensing apparatus to be more compact, easily mountable by users or caregivers, and even less needful of positioning on the user, c) Upgrade the signal processing and pattern-recognition algorithms to provide additional rejection of unintentional gestures for those with speech or related motor-control issues, d) Create driver and user preference s oftware for the PC, and e) Perform a short-term user evaluation and a month-long in-home trial that demonstrates the main innovations of the project. The result will be that at the end of Phase II, we have a prototype lip reading device that has a high-q uality look, feel, and function, along with test data from users that shows useful and efficient performance, and a high degree of user satisfaction and preference for the product. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The RandD in this Phase II SBIR project will resu lt in an improved way to use computers for individuals with disabilities who cannot use a standard mouse to click on objects on the computer screen. The technology will also provide an improved switch device for non-computer applications. The results of th e project will enable such individuals to be more productive, thus providing improved employment potential and an increase in the quality of life.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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