SpecialEffect eye gaze challenge

How do you play a computer game using only your eyes? Our nominated charity, SpecialEffect, visited P4D headquarters to show us how. As a charity they help those with a disability enjoy computer games; every time you book a parcel delivery at p4d.co.uk you can round up your pound to support their incredible work.

Computer games for all ages

Eye Gaze technologyPlaying computer games isn’t just about teenage boys playing shoot ‘em up, it's a social activity popular with all age groups.

Some of the people helped by SpecialEffect have been playing computer games their whole lives and have passed their enjoyment of it onto their family, but as a result of disability can no longer operate a controller themselves. Other recipients are children who want to play alongside their older brothers and sisters, or who can’t physically play a sport, so a computer game is an enjoyable virtual alternative. 

Each disability and every donor's interest is different. Therefore, SpecialEffect source equipment and adapt technology to individual need. They make it possible for donors to play games they used to love, or for children to experience the fun for the first time.

The parcel delivery geeks take the test

Nick and Mark from SpecialEffect visited P4D to show us some of the equipment they use. It didn’t take them long to set up the eye gaze equipment, which helps players control a game with only their sight. Each piece of kit costs around £4,000 to buy and the charity relies solely on donations to fund this kind of purchase, since they receive no government funding. SpecialEffect also accepts donations of computer equipment for them to then adapt.

Some of the team at P4D tried out a racing game controlled by eye gaze technology.

Before playing, each person stared at a circle to calibrate the equipment, which could then follow and track their gaze. Players drove the car in the game by moving their eyes.

Eye Gaze calibration       Eye Gaze view

A cursor appears on screen to show where a player's eyes land on the screen. Looking up makes the car go faster and looking down towards the bumper makes it slow down or reverse. Imagine the joy for someone who is paralysed and can only move their eyes to experience this.

P4D league table

Here's how a few of us fared:

Position

Team member

Time

1st

Lisa

1.31

2nd

Chris

1.37

3rd

Sophie

1.40

 

Rob

1.41

 

Terry

1.43

 

Trevor

1.47

 

Jonathan

1.55

 

Nat

2.11

 

Amanda

2.26

 

Colin gave up!

0.00

 

Meet the team

 

Changing lives with technology

When SpecialEffect helps a child, they also help the parents who are looking for ways to keep a child entertained, but with limited options. For older recipients who have been injured and left with a disability, playing computer games can ease frustration. SpecialEffect makes no charge for its service.

See our live fundraising total for SpecialEffect