How would you use a touch screen mobile device if you couldn’t use your hands to touch the device? With support from Google.org, the Neil Squire Society released the LipSync, a mouth controlled input device, which enables people with little or no hand movement to operate a touchscreen device.
The Lipsync is a mouth-operated joystick that allows a person to control a computer cursor with a minimum of head and neck movement. All the electronics are housed in the ‘head’ of the device so there are no additional control boxes, making the LipSync a good candidate for portable, wheelchair-mounted applications. The mouthpiece is attached to a precision miniature joystick sensor that requires only a very slight pressure on the shaft in order to move a cursor on the screen. The mouthpiece is hollow and allows a person to perform left and right mouse button clicks by alternatively puffing or sipping into the tube.
An estimated 1,000,000 people in Canada and the United States have limited or no use of their arms—meaning they are unable to use touchscreen devices that could provide access to helpful apps and services. While solutions exist for desktop computers, they can cost up to $3,000 and do not work well on mobile devices.
We are releasing the project open source, so it can be affordably made at the community level by makers, engineers, tinkerers, and hobbyists. The total cost will be less than $300 to source and assemble 3D printed parts, an Arduino board, bluechip module and other components, and can be built as a weekend project.
We entered the LipSync in the 2016 Hackaday Prize. You can get technical updates, all open source files and instruction manuals, and stay updated directly from our technical team on the LipSync project page (new window).