Paralyzed man sends the first ever tweet created with eye movement

first_imgTony Nicklinson sent his first tweet on Wednesday June 13th. While this feat may seem unremarkable to most — for him it means a window to communicate with the world.In 2005, Nicklinson had a stroke that completely paralyzed him. He can still think and reason, but he’s unable to care for himself, and his only means of communication are with his eyes and he suffers from what is known as locked-in syndrome. Through a combination of hardware and software he’s able to communicate much more sophisticated thoughts than “blink once for yes, twice for no.” The system tracks his eye movements, not unlike the Lenovo Tobii device that made headlines last year, so Nicklinson is able to type out his thoughts letter-by-letter on a virtual keyboard. This program in turn converts each selection into text and/or speech.While eye tracking technology, like Tobii and others, is nothing new to the first world its application is. The fact that a man who would otherwise be reduced to “yes” and “no” queries or only have others to speak for him, can now through the power of micro-blogging site Twitter and this eye movement tech, speak to the world (or at least anyone who wants to follow). The social networking community has met him with great support; as of this posting he has gained over 20,000 followers.His tweets are occasionally uplifting, talking about his flatulent pooch, but mostly Nicklinson has used Twitter to raise awareness about his upcoming hearing regarding his right to die. The site has left some users to question whether the social networking site has changed his mind on his desire to be euthanized, to which he responded, “Let’s hear the judgement first and maybe I’ll tell you.”And the first tweet…Hello world. I am tony nicklinson, I have locked-in syndrome and this is my first ever tweet. #tony— TonyNicklinson (@TonyNicklinson) June 13, [email protected] via Guardianlast_img

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