Tracking system could help disabled people use computers

A computer technology student at Surrey University has developed a visual tracking system that could help disabled people to use computers.

For his efforts, Zdenek Kalal, who studies at the university’s Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP), was recently presented with the Technology Everywhere award at a ceremony hosted by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The so-called Predator system he has developed can be used to follow objects; for example, it can track the tip of a pen that might be held in the mouth of a paralysed person, who could use it to control a computer mouse.

In contrast with other tracking techniques, Predator learns from its mistakes and is then able to make better decisions in the future — resulting in a real-time visual tracking system that improves its performance over time.

Key representatives from industry and academia joined government ministers from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at the awards ceremony for ICT pioneers, which was held at Church House Conference Centre in London.