Art using eye-gaze technology for “Eyespeak” kickstarter project by Francis Tsai
Francis says:My name is Francis Tsai and I am an artist currently living with my wife Linda in Austin Texas. Most of my work has been in the video game industry, but I have also done work for comic book publishers and film and TV design and have authored 2 art illustration books. In 2010, I was diagnosed with ALS which is a degenerative neuromuscular disease with no known cause or cure. It typically leads to total paralysis and eventually death from respiratory failure. I chose to have a tracheostomy early in 2012 for assisted breathing; however, in doing so, I lost my ability to speak. In the fall of 2012, with the help of a technically savvy friend I was able to obtain a custom-built computer setup controlled via eye gaze. I now rely 100% on the eye gaze setup to communicate. If I am not in front of my computer, then my only option for communicating is by blinking my eyes. I spend roughly half of the day away from my computer as part of my daily routine to get up and ready for the day and then washed and ready for bed at the end of the day. LusoVU’s project to enable eye controlled communication via a wearable device will make a dramatic difference in my daily life. I will no longer have apprehension about my inability to communicate with others while I am in bed, in the bathroom, or away from home. Not being able to communicate is a powerless feeling but being able to wear my communication device wherever I am brings the power back to me. I hope that you will consider supporting this very important project that can help people like me and others with similar paralysis live better lives and communicate freely without bounds again.