Tech Enables Video Control by Eye Movement

by Mike Hunter

Cox Accessible Web Remote for Contour with a video of people behind itCox recently unveiled new technology in Phoenix and Tucson that empowers people with disabilities to control their TV with their eyes. The Accessible Web Remote for Contour gives those who have lost fine motor skills — whether from degenerative conditions or paralysis — the ability to browse the video guide with a glance.

Specifically, a free web-based tool is navigable using various assistive technologies already owned by customers, including eye gaze hardware and software, switch controls, and sip-and-puff systems that the user controls by gently blowing into a tube.

Eye-tracking technology gives people living with conditions like paraplegia, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) the same access to their TVs as customers with the latest edition of Contour. 

“Innovative technology like this gives people with disabilities an added level of independence,” says Steve Gleason, founder of Team Gleason and former New Orleans Saints football player who has been living with ALS since 2011. “We appreciate that companies like Cox continue to empower their users by adopting products like the Accessible Web Remote, which allows every customer to do something most people take for granted, like controlling their TV.”

According to the Bureau of Internet Accessibility, approximately 16% of people in the United States have difficulties with their physical functioning, making things like using a traditional TV remote either a challenge or impossible, depending on the condition. Throughout the last three years, Cox has partnered with organizations like Team Gleason to ensure accessible design and development of its products, increase awareness and education, and improve processes and procedures focusing on disability inclusion.

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