Midas Touch Review
- Name of the technology: Midas Touch
- Link: http://www.midastouch.org/
- Price: Free
- Minimal physical requirements: The patient has to be able to move his hands freely.
Midas Touch is a free onscreen keyboard program for Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP that is designed to be used with Camera Mouse or any other head-controlled access technology.
Midas Touch is an easy-to-use program with one button for typing each letter, two buttons to type a space, one button to Delete the previous character, two buttons to speak the current message, and four buttons (in green) that can provide a resting place for the mouse pointer while you are moving your head using Camera Mouse.
Camera Mouse uses dwell time to click. That is, if you hold the mouse pointer within a certain spot on the screen for 1 second a click is issued by Camera Mouse. This makes users of Camera Mouse subject to the "Midas Touch problem" (see the article “What you look at is what you get,” R.J.K. Jacob, Computer, vol. 26, no. 7, pp. 65–66, July 1993), where a key on which the mouse pointer dwells can be clicked by mistake. The green keys in the Midas Touch program cannot be clicked and can be used as a resting place for the mouse pointer.
At any time in the main screen the message can be spoken using the built-in voice in Windows (usually Microsoft David or Zira for English (United States) in Windows 8 or Microsoft Anna in Windows 7 and Vista or Microsoft Sam in XP) by clicking on the Speak button. Whenever a letter is added the entire message automatically is copied into the clipboard so it can be pasted in another application. The message can be saved as a standard text file in the File menu.
(If you have a difficult time with Midas Touch because of accuracy issues with the mouse pointer you should try the similar program Staggered Speech, which is available for free download at www.staggeredspeech.org. Staggered Speech is a two-level spelling program with larger buttons and fewer buttons on the screen, but it takes two mouse clicks to type each letter.)
The Midas Touch program is part of the EagleEyes Project of Boston College. We hope it is useful to you.
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