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Guest MMQB: Steve Gleason on his life with ALS, mission for a cure

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Peter King is taking his annual vacation, and he's lined up some special guests to fill in on MMQB in the meantime. This week, former New Orleans Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason takes over. *** Typing with your fingers ...

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Old 06-17-2013, 08:37 AM   #1
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Guest MMQB: Steve Gleason on his life with ALS, mission for a cure

Peter King is taking his annual vacation, and he's lined up some special guests to fill in on MMQB in the meantime. This week, former New Orleans Saints special teams standout Steve Gleason takes over.

***

Typing with your fingers or thumbs is sooooo 2012.

I tweeted that earlier in the year. I type with my eyes. Not only that, I navigate my computer, create and play music, keep a calendar, conference call, lead web X meetings, text and, obviously, tweet with my eyes.

Crazy, right? Actually, not as crazy as you may think. Cell phones, tablets, TVs and computers are all beginning to incorporate "eye tracking" technology. Someday soon we will all navigate computers with our eyes. When that day comes, remember you saw it here first. Keeping this perspective helps me think of myself less as disabled and more as a trendsetter.

I also have automation in my house that allows me to open doors, turn on lights, open blinds, change the thermostat and turn on TVs. I do my best to try to think of myself as super-abled, rather than disabled. About the only things I cannot control in the house are my son, Rivers, and my wife, Michel. She is fierce like a bolt of lightning, and he takes after her.

So, how does this technology work?

I have a tablet PC attached to my power wheelchair. This tablet, my command center, sits about 18 inches from my face. At the base of my tablet, I have a black bar that houses infrared cameras that track my pupils. From there, I have a toolbar on the right side of my tablet screen that has mouse commands: left click, right click, double click, etc. So, I look at my on-screen commands for half a second, and those commands select. Then I look wherever I want to click on screen. For example, if I want to minimize my Spotify application, I look at the "left click" command, then gaze at the app's minimize button. If I want to read today's MMQB column, I select the scroll button from my on-screen commands, then gaze at an area in the column. The technology senses where my eyes are as I read, and automatically scrolls down the page accordingly.

Sweet, right?!

It works the same way with my keyboard. This is how I speak: I type whatever nonsense comes to mind, click "speak," and a synthetic voice that sounds hauntingly like my old voice belts out the nonsense for all to hear.

I can crank out about 20 words per minute. For 4,500 words, that's almost four hours to finish this column.


Read More: Guest MMQB: Steve Gleason on his life with ALS, mission for a cure - NFL - Peter King - SI.com

This one is a great read.

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Old 06-17-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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Re: Guest MMQB: Steve Gleason on his life with ALS, mission for a cure

My heart goes out to him. Those arse holes in Atlanta hate him but I love the man. He is my hero.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:25 PM   #3
 
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Re: Guest MMQB: Steve Gleason on his life with ALS, mission for a cure

A good read, indeed!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:17 PM   #4
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Re: Guest MMQB: Steve Gleason on his life with ALS, mission for a cure

A very sad thing to consider. I am glad the technology exists to give him this outlet
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