Driving by eye

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POSTED: Sunday, August 17, 2014 - 10:05pm

UPDATED: Sunday, August 17, 2014 - 10:09pm

Microsoft engineers and former NFL star suffering from ALS team up to create a wheelchair that users can control through eye movement. Glenn Farley reports.

(KING) In late July a team at Microsoft were presented with a challenge by former New Orleans Saints star Steve Gleason: find a way to let him drive his wheelchair by using his eyes.

Gleason suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. For Gleason that muscle-wasting disease in a few short years has now robbed him of even the ability to control the joystick in his electric wheelchair.

The former athlete's appearance was part of a company-wide "hackathon" where some 12,000 Microsoft employees were asked to delve into the company's products and find new ways to use them and fix problems. The team that designed a new wheelchair interface won. They found a solution in just two days.

On Thursday, principal software design engineer Gershon Parent used his eyes to drive a wheelchair identical to Gleason's. It's called EyeGaze.

Read more: http://kng5.tv/VqhozC

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