How nous™ works
nous™ is a switch access method that simply uses your intentional blinks to access a computer.
For people who have physical disabilities which affect all their limbs and their voice, it can be difficult to access or control a computer. This means that a switch access method may be needed to enable people to use a computer to communicate and interact.
A switch access method is a simple device that has two states – on and off. They often come in the form of buttons that can be hit with a body part that a person can move reliably and consistently. Switches require minimal physical input, so they can be used by people with physical disabilities, who can't use more traditional computer access methods, such as a computer mouse, touch screen and keyboards.
nous™ is a unique switch access method, which lets people control assistive software by blinking. It only uses intentional blinks, so people can still blink comfortably.
Think “blink to click”
nous™ is both hardware and software. The hardware component is a soft headset that houses the sensors which measure your blinks. Like the one below
These sensors measure the electrical signals of eye movement, called "electrooculography" or EOG (this signal is independent of your eyebrow or forehead movements, and is only produced by the movement of your eyeballs). With nous™, the headset measures the EOG signals produced when a person blinks.
Everyone’s blinks are different. Infact, on any given time or day, even your own blinks will vary.
The software part of nous™ needs to understand what a person's “blink signal” looks like before they start using it as a switch access method.
This ensures that they get the most accurate experience when using blinks to control software applications.
We want people to still be able to blink naturally, otherwise it may be uncomfortable trying to use nous™. So users of nous™ will go through a calibration process that teaches nous™ what a person's intentional/purposeful blinks look like.
Once the calibration is complete, nous™ can be used as a switch access method for Windows OS based computer applications, such as Communicator 5 by Tobii Dynavox, NuVoice by PRC and Grid 3 by Smartbox, as well as other software applications that can be used with switch interfaces.
nous™ is the right 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 to use.
Because nous™ only requires you to have the ability to blink reliably, it is the perfect solution for you.