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This Made-for-iPad accessory can transform lives


In a boost to accessible technology, people with disabilities such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Motor neurone disease (MND), cerebral palsy, or spinal cord injury can now control their iPads using only their eyes and a newly introduced device.

TD Pilot brings a voice and control

TD Pilot makes it possible for a user to control the iPad, use apps, and even generate natural-sounding speech using their eyes. It relies on the support for eye-tracking devices Apple introduced in iPadOS 15 and is medically certified for use by people with disabilities such as ALS and Cerebral Palsy.

The product is an authorized Made-for-iPad accessory developed by Tobii subsidiary Tobii Dynavox working with Apple. Tobii is a global leader in eye-tracking tech, with solutions in use across thousands of enterprises and research institutes worldwide.

What is this and what does it do?

The system makes use of the iPad, the custom cover, and Tobii Dynavox apps running on the device. These apps include TD Talk, which generates natural sounding speech, and TD Snap, which is described as a symbol-supported solution to facilitate communication.

The rugged water and dust-proof cover is also of note. It augments the iPad with additional features, including powerful speakers, a battery pack, and wheelchair mounting and boasts a small rear-mounted display that mirrors what the TD Pilot user is saying to help make face-to-face communication feel more natural.

Eye-tracking tech can be unreliable in bright light, but TD Pilot says its system, which is available today, can track the eye even in bright sunlight.

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