Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New technology allows disabled children to explore their creative side

Date:
July 14, 2011
Source:
University of Royal Holloway London
Summary:
Doodling, coloring in and drawing are all important parts of a child’s development. But what if the child has a disability and does not have the use or control of their limbs? A team of researchers in the UK is working with charity SpecialEffect to use innovative technology to design a computer program to allow those with disabilities to be able to explore their creativity.

Doodling, colouring in and drawing are all important parts of a child's development. But what if the child has a disability and does not have the use or control of their limbs?

A team of researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London are working with charity SpecialEffect to use innovative technology to design a computer programme to allow those with disabilities to be able to explore their creativity.

The novel technology developed at Royal Holloway uses an eye-tracker to find out exactly how eye movements correspond with the participants preferences. Having identified a tell-tale pattern of eye-movements which allowed them to predict the participant's preferences, the researchers developed an evolutionary algorithm to manipulate designs right before the subjects' eyes, so that they gradually evolved to match each person's preferences. The subjects were not told to look for their favourite design, but allowed the computer to 'read their minds' through their eye movements.

Dr Tim Holmes, from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, developed the technology. He says: "The ability to draw or build is something many of us take for granted, and it's an important facilitator of cognitive development. However, even with the computer software to manipulate virtual equivalents of building bricks and crayons, many of these programs remain inaccessible to the physically and mentally disabled. Recent developments in assistive technologies have used eye-movements as an alternative to standard computer interfaces such as the mouse, keyboard and joystick. But our technology goes one step further, by recognising the meaning, or intent, associated with those eye-movements, enabling the software to work with the user, presenting design variants which are increasingly optimal over successive presentations. This technology will allow them to do something they currently can't do."

Starting from July 19, and running throughout the summer, the researchers will be inviting visitors to the Science Museum as part of the Live Science programme to try out the technology.

Dr Holmes explains: "The experiment at the Science Museum will enable us to validate this technology using a large and diverse population of users, and also to gather feedback on the user experience. Working with Special Effect, we then hope to expand the "dinosaur drawing" program into a more general creative tool that will allow disabled users to explore their own imagination through virtual toys such as building bricks, moulding clay and line drawing applications."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Royal Holloway London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Royal Holloway London. "New technology allows disabled children to explore their creative side." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714132032.htm>.
University of Royal Holloway London. (2011, July 14). New technology allows disabled children to explore their creative side. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714132032.htm
University of Royal Holloway London. "New technology allows disabled children to explore their creative side." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714132032.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins