ECTkeyboard (EyeComTec Keyboard) is a program with a text matrix that allows individuals with limited motor skills to type text. The program works with eye tracking applications (ECTtracker and analogues), allowing to select characters through blinking, muscle contractions or other actions. ECTkeyboard has a flexible interface configuration, language input and character selecting delays. Saves all settings in files for subsequent work.
ECTkeyboard (EyeComTec Keyboard) is a program that allows individuals with reduced motor skills to type text letter by letter. The program works with eye tracking applications (for example, ECTtracker and similar programs), allowing to select characters in a text matrix through eye movements and blinking. It also supports direct input of characters from the virtual keyboard through contracting a muscle or a group of muscles, drawing the air or other means available to people with limited motor skills.
The main window of the program is a text matrix with a set of symbols or pictograms, the appearance and the order of which can be customized by the user. ECTkeyboard allows to enter text using different methods : Step by step- mode , in which the program highlights one character after another , and the user selects the desired character through blinking or other accessible action; Coordinate mode ( when the selection is made horizontally and vertically) where the user first indicates the row or the column before selecting the desired character in them; Separating regime, where the entire text matrix gets divided in two, after being selected the part containing the desired letter splits in its turn, and so –on until a single character is selected ; Virtual keyboard mode allows to work with a mouse or another manipulator device. Operating modes are suitable for different groups of users with limited motor skills; all typed text is registered to a file.
ECTkeyboard has a simple interface, but at the same time a plurality of customizable settings. Almost any parameter can be modified - the number of letters in a row or column, matrix colors, colors and font style of a selected cell or to the entry delay, allowing to choose the most comfortable work pace, avoid fatigue and make working with ECTkeyboard as comfortable as possible. All settings can be imported to files allowing to quickly switch them.
Benefits of using ECTkeyboard
ECTkeyboard is a simple to use, convenient and helpful tool that gives the gift of communication back to those with impaired motor skills. It has many features that make it uniquely valuable, and best of all it is free to download and use. Here are just some of the reasons to use this program:
The program is incredibly portable. It can be stored on a flash drive and doesn't require any installation. All files can be saved to that flash drive and carried with it when the flash drive is removed. This means that there is zero hassle when using different computers, and makes the program more accessible to users with limited computer knowledge.
Direct input means ease of use. The user has an array of input choices. This means that whatever their ability level, they can use this program. From blinking, to muscle contractions, even using their breath; Any user of any mobility level may harness this powerful tool.
The program comes with a number of options for character selection. These include the following:
- Step By Step Mode: The program cycles through the available characters, and the user performs the desired input method, such as blinking, to select the currently highlighted character.
- Coordinate Mode: The characters are arranged by horizontal and vertical rows and columns. Then the character selection is accomplished by the user first selecting a row and them a column, and the character that is located at the intersection is then selected.
- Regime Separation Mode: The characters are aligned and the user selects the half in which the desired character is located. That half is then separated into two more halves. One half is again selected, and this process is repeated until only the desired character remains.
- Virtual Keyboard Mode: A virtual keyboard is presented to the user, who then use a mouse or other direct input device to select the desired characters.
Fully customizable. ECTkeyboard boasts over eighty settings that can be changed to the users liking. This includes the methods of selection and all parameters associated with them, including the font, background and text colors. The various selection methods can be completely changed to the users liking, with options like the number of characters in a row or column, and the speed at which the characters are cycled through. Also sound notifications for the visually impaired. All of these can be saved to a file and accessed each time the user runs the program.
Utilizes a robust and automatic saving feature. The program saves when the user closes it, and reloads the work from where they left off. Automatic saving occurs during use as well, and occurs at every user set time interval. This auto save feature creates a new time stamped file each time, and allows the user to see the evolution of their current task, and return to an earlier point if they wish. This could save the user hours of work.