Using a computer mouse can be extremely challenging if not downright impossible for those with severe mobility impairment. a keyboard’s functionality can easily be augmented or replaced by switch interfaces, speech recognition software, and mouse-driven on-screen keyboards. In contrast, a mouse is difficult to fully and naturally emulate. This can be a killer when it comes to gaming.
Enter the Vocal Joystick: a revolutionary piece of software being developed at the University of Washington, led by UW CSE’s adjunct professor (and EE professor) Jeff Bilmes, and including research with UW CSE’s professor James Landay and grad student Susumu Harada.
“Where traditional voice recognition software hinges upon recognizing discrete words and commands, Vocal Joystick directly translates vowel sounds into cursor movement. Unlike normal speech, vowel sounds (e.g., ‘aaah,’ ‘aaay,’ ‘oooh’) can be sustained as long as the user has air to expel, meaning the user is able to make the cursor move exactly as long as desired.”