After my first contact with ALS patients I wanted to help them. their main issue is lack of proper communication with doctors, family and outside world. It is not just limited to ALS but also many other patients with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Delay, Stroke/Aphasia, Rett Syndrome, Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Brain Injury, Multiple sclerosis (MS) can have same problems.
Unfortunately in Iran ALS patients are not supported by insurance or government. Also due to exchange rate they can barely use commercial communication devices which costs around 8000 to 15000 $. So I plan a simple, open source hardware and software to help them.
we first start with BCI (brain computer interface) with emotive EEG headset. but the headset operation was a bit hard and the price was not low although. it seems a good solution for patients without any physical output (like Total locked-in syndrome)
but since ALS patients can move their eyes I focused on eye tracking. our current hardware is a hacked C920 logitech cam + infrared filters and IR lenses with 3D printed case and parts and 12 IR LEDs. We also support NUIA eyeCharm: Kinect® to eye tracking . In terms of software I develop a web based app in browser that can be easily modified and also connect to sms and web services. the user can control the software by glaring at the screens.