OptiKey is an on-screen keyboard which, when coupled with an eye-tracking device, will allow you to click & type using only your eyes. Hey, ma, look, no hands.
The simple & easy to use assistive on-screen keyboard is open source & runs on Windows, & is designed to be used with a low cost eye-tracking device.
For people with motor & speech limitations, such as people living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) / Motor Neuron Disease (MND), this is a highly affordable solution compared to the existing complex hardware-software solutions that can cost upwards of US $20,000.
OptiKey developer Julius Sweetland recommends the Tobii EyeX tracker or Eye Tribe tracker, but the full list of supported eye tracking devices can be found here. You will also need a computer/laptop/Tablet with at least an Intel i5 processor, at least one USB 3.0 port.
After that, all you have to do is download OptiKey from GitHub, run the file & follow the instructions. OptiKey then works “out of the box” & can be used to type into any application, just like your ordinary keyboard. For example, OptiKey can automatically insert spaces between words & capitalize letters for you to increase your typing rate. You can even type whole words & phrases in a single selection by “swiping” or using “auto-complete”. You will be able to click, scroll & drag with precision anywhere on screen. To communicate with others, you can use the Speak button, & OptiKey will convert the typed text into speech.
OptiKey is sure to be a blessing for those with motor & speech limitations, & it should be fun to play with even for others. There are plenty of guides for everything from typing your first word using OptiKey to using eye trackers, use of the dictionary, speed, & other aspects that you might want to personalize.
Management console screens allow you to tweak the tool’s visual, word, sound, pointing & selecting, dictionary management & other settings.
OptiKey is open source & free, & was developed by London, UK-based software developer Julius Sweetland.
Check out this YouTube video to see how it works: