Stony Brook professors awarded $200K grant to advance ALS app

Two Stony Brook professors were awarded a two-year, $200,000 grant by the ALS Association to advance their app development intended to help those suffering with the disease.
Department of Computer Science professors Xiaojun Bi and Fusheng Wang were awarded the funds to help advance their “EyeCanDo” technology, which is a multifunctional eye-gaze-based app to help ALS patients gain back some of that independence.
Originally developed for the 2018 Mount Sinai Medicine Hackathon, by students under their direction, EyeCanDo is an iOS app for iPhones and iPads with Apple’s TrueDepth camera system, which creates a detailed 3D map of a user’s face.
The technology allows for the development of novel ALS-focused eye-gaze-based assistive software product, which will enable patients to use their eye movements and visual attention to control smart home devices such as lights or thermostats, listen to music, type, send messages and more.
The development of EyeCanDo will include research into human-computer interaction and AI technologies to help achieve high accuracy and stability, multiple levels of communication and allow for a customized user experience by adapting the software to each individual patient.