Empowering independent interaction with the world
Nous™ is a wearable blink switch for people with severe physical disabilities.
The assistive solution that enables access to communication and self-expression.
"Since using Nous I can now access a switch independently for the first time in my life. I have really enjoyed being part of something that is going to help others."
Danielle Smith, co-designer and Nous user
Simple, yet smart technology
Works by detecting purposeful blinks
Minimal effort, easy to use.
A gentle, natural movement is all it takes to access assistive software.
No more straining, stretching and sweating to hit that switch.
Intelligent software that adapts uniquely to you
Nous uses artificial intelligence to learn what your purposeful blinks look like, and ignores everything else.
We know that comfort is crucial, so you can still blink naturally. There's nothing else like it.
Nous is an extension of you
Supports any body position and environment.
Communicate and interact comfortably while lying down or sitting in any position.
It’s an access solution for indoors, outdoors, and one day even outer space…
How does Nous work?
Nous is both hardware and software. The hardware component is a soft headset
that houses the sensors which measure your blinks.
Everyone’s blinks are different, and vary throughout the day. The Nous software intelligently understands what a your “blink signal” looks like before you start using it as a switch access method.
Don't just take our word for it, here's why people love Nous
"Nous has given Kassidy an opportunity to show people what she is capable of, which means she is treated age and skill appropriately. She was happier and more confident within herself and hopeful that we were on the right path towards getting to know her wants and desires better."
Tracey Gates, mother of a young adult with Cerebral Palsy
"My patient has been using intentional blinks to communicate for years and to date any ‘’blink’’ switch always required hard blinks that were either too tiring or too difficult. Nous was different as it allowed them to use habitual, intentional blinks to control scanning to access communication software."
Lise Bleu, Occupational Therapist
"As long as you can blink purposely you can use this device. I love that it gives people the opportunity of having a voice. It gives people the ability to express themselves."
Courtney Coe, Occupational Therapist
Co-designed with therapists, people with disabilities and their support network.
Nous is loved by people with all types of disabilities. From motor neuron diesease, to cerebral palsy, brainstem stroke and spinal cord injuries.
If you can blink, you can use Nous.
Nous works seamlessly with your software
Use Nous with all of the most popular communication apps available on Windows OS such as SmartBox's Grid 3 and Tobii Dynavox's Communicator 5.
Do even more by using Nous to connect with any apps that are switch accessible, such as the Windows on-screen keyboard, and cause and effect games!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Nous?
Nous is a switch access method that simply uses your intentional/purposeful blinks to access a computer. Nous is both hardware and software. The hardware is a soft headband that houses the sensors which measure your blinks. The software uses the blink information from these sensors and uses them as a switch access method for computer applications
What is a Switch Access Method?
A switch access method refers to a specialist way of accessing a computer, mobile device or communication aid using a simple switch, in the place of the more varied interfaces such as keyboards and touch screens. Switches are usually used by people with physical disabilities, who can't use more traditional access methods.
A switch is a simple device that has two states – on and off. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and are operated in different ways. Often this is through a push motion but you can also find ones that you grasp, pull, sip and puff or even throat vibrations.
What is blink ‘Calibration’?
Everyone’s blinks are different. Infact, on any given time or day, even your own blinks will vary. We need to understand what your “blink signal” looks like before you start using nous™. And to do this we need to go through a calibration exercise. Calibration is the process of determining the correct threshold for your blinks. It ensures that you get the most accurate experience when using blinks to control the software.
We want you to still be able to blink naturally, otherwise it will be very uncomfortable trying to use Nous.
I have access needs. How can Nous help?
Nous might be a useful switch access method for you, if existing assistive technologies are too difficult to use. They may be difficult to use because you may not have the physical means of accessing them, or they may be tiring too use. Because nous™ only requires you to have the ability to blink reliably, it could be the perfect solution for you.
Can Nous be used by people who's intentional blinks are softer/weaker than their intentional blinks?
Yes! When you go through blink calibration, Nous will be able to detect the difference between your natural and intentional blinks, and set a blink threshold range according to your blink behaviour. This means that it will work whether your intentional blinks are softer or harder than your natural ones.
As a carer what do I need to know?
If you care for an individual with an access need, Nous may enable them to comfortably and reliably access a computer. This will help them communicate with you, and increase their autonomy.
As a carer, you will need to assist in placing the headband on, and turning it on. You will also need to launch Nous and go through the calibration process with them. We've made the process as user-friendly as possible, but if you have any concerns or requests, please don't hesitate to email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can Nous help health professionals?
If you are a health professional, such as a Speech and Language Therapist or Occupational Therapist, Nous may help your clients who have very high access needs. For instance, your clients who cannot use any existing switch access methods, or experience great difficulty/discomfort using them.
Nous only needs your client to be able to blink reliably! It's simple, reliable and comfortable.
What do I need to use Nous?
You will need a Window OS computer or tablet, the Nous software and the blink-detection headband that comes with Nous.
Does Nous work on all computers?
Nous currently only works on Windows operating systems. We hope that in the near future we will expand to other operating systems, such as Mac OS and iOS. Watch this space!
What software can Nous control?
Nous integrates with existing communication software. Currently, we integrate with the most widely used Windows-based communication software: Tobii Dynavox Communicator 5, PRC NuVoice, SmartBox Grid 3 and Clicker 7.
It can also work out of the box, as a switch access method for the Windows on-screen keyboard.
We’re still learning about other useful software applications that our customers may want to use with nous™. If there are any other windows-based software applications that you would like to connect with, please email us, and we will get back to you.
Can I try Nous before I buy it?
How can my organisation access Nous?
You can request a demonstration of Nous by emailing us email@example.com. We are actively looking for international clinical and business partners.
What if I have trouble using Nous?
Although Nous has been designed to work as soon as it arrives on your door-step, it can take a while to get the hang of using your blinks as a computer access method. For some people it takes minutes, for others it can take several months. Hopefully, you will have a therapist who has designed a learning program for you, so that you can see the benefits of Nous as soon as possible.
If you have any ideas on ways that we could improve Nous, please email us.
If you're not entirely satisfied with nous, and practice has not helped, them please email us so we can determine what the best solution is, and if a return is the best option.