AM - Saturday, 18 September ,
Reporter: Jayne-Maree Sedgman
HAMISH ROBERTSON: Staying with computers,
that world was opened up to many people, especially those with
disabilities, by the invention of voice recognition
But now a Canadian scientist has gone one
step further, with a computer interface which doesn't even
need to hear your voice but allows you to navigate your way
around the screen simply by moving your face.
Gorodnichy from the Institute of Information Technology in
Ottawa has been telling our reporter, Jayne-Maree Sedgman,
that he's invented a computer which is controlled through eye
and nose movements.
DIMITRY GORODNICHY: Nose is a very
unique feature all of us have. First, you can see it all the
time, so regardless of your face, facial orientation or
expression, you can always see where the nose is.
even more than that, what is very good for all of us is that
the nose has this unique complex shape feature, a complex
shape, which no other part of our face has. And because of
that it makes possible to track the nose very precisely and
So regardless of how complex is the
motion of your face, you can track the people's noses very
precisely and very smoothly, which is needed if you need to
control. Like, imagine, you need to write your name hands-free
with the tip of your nose. Okay, so that's the precision we
are looking for, and we can do it now.
SEDGMAN: So, realistically, how long might it take users to
become accustomed to this level of precision?
GORODNICHY: Oh, it doesn't take any time, because first it's
natural. Imagine that your hands are busy with breakfast and
you would like to point me where is a book which I'd like to
borrow from you, so how would you do it?
point probably with the orientation of your face, with your
nose, right? So that's what computer can do first, it can just
see, okay which way are you pointing at.
But even more
than that, you'd now imagine that you'd like actually to write
something with the nose. Again, it's very natural, and that's
one of the best things about the technology that there is no
need to learn it. So you just do it as you would do if your
hands are busy.
JAYNE-MAREE SEDGMAN: I understand this
invention also utilises the blinking of the users'
DMITRY GORODNICHY: With the nose we can only move
objects, but we cannot, let's say, select, or cannot perform a
click. So as a replacement, as a hands-free alternative for a
click, we've invented what we call a double-blink concept.
So we ask a person to blink two times or maybe three
times in a row. This is a motion which all of us can easily
perform, and which can trigger a command on a computer. So
that could serve as a hands-free alternative for
JAYNE-MAREE SEDGMAN: And who do you imagine
will use your invention?
DMITRY GORODNICHY: I think it
will be everybody, including yourself, myself, and of course
there is a specific niche for handicapped industry. In
particular, there are many people who cannot talk, and even
more some of them cannot even move well their hands, or even
face, and for many of them their main means of communication
is by blinking.
HAMISH ROBERTSON: That was Dr Dmitry
Gorodnichy speaking from Ottawa to our reporter, Jayne-Maree