The Neil Squire Society has been researching and developing assistive technology solutions for decades. Through that research, some incredible innovations have been brought to market. One such product is the Jouse(new window), which is itself an evolution of the early sip and puff(new window) device. Completed in 1995, the Jouse allows users with little or no hand control to manipulate a computer mouse with the use of a mouthpiece. The device is innovative yet simple, allowing users to manipulate left and right mouse clicks with either a sip or a puff of the device. The Jouse also features “Morse mode” which allows sips and puffs to be converted into Morse code(new window) via specialized software.
Now, thanks in part to funding opportunities provided by Google.org(new window) through the Google Impact Challenge(new window), which seeks to foster technological innovations in accessibility, The Neil Squire Society(new window) is in position to evolve its products once more.
We’re proud to introduce the LipSync(new window), a next generation USB mouse emulation device which can be used in conjunction with any smartphone, tablet, or PC. The LipSync is smaller and more portable than its predecessor, and can easily be mounted to a desk or wheelchair. The mouthpiece is attached to a precision miniature joystick sensor that requires only a very slight pressure on the shaft in order to move the computer cursor up and down. Similar to the Jouse, the mouthpiece is hollow, and allows a person to perform taps or mouse button clicks by puffing or sipping into the tube.
But what makes the LipSync device truly unique is the approach that is being taken in its research and development. Rather than relying on expensive and difficult to acquire parts, the LipSync has been designed so that most of the parts required for assembly can be easily printed on a 3D printer, making it the most affordable product of its kind. Not only that, but the LipSync has been designed to be open source, meaning that anyone can assemble it, take it apart, modify it, and re-write code. By taking this open source approach, we can engage hacker and maker communities around the world, allowing for collaboration and innovation to occur on an unprecedented scale.
We were very excited to have been invited by Google to introduce the LipSync during this year’s International Technology Persons with Disabilities Conference(new window), which is hosted by California State University, Northridge(new window)(CSUN), and share our plans at the Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Jose(new window).
To learn more and get involved in this project, please see our LipSync page(new window).