The Brainfingers Software
Although this website is not intended as a tutorial, we would like to show you the basics of how our software works. It consists of two main window groups; the Brainfingers window group, and the Launch window group. The Brainfingers windows teach you how to create "conscious control" of your Brainfingers or signals detected at your forehead with the headband. Several applications and games are included to help further understand and control your Brainfingers. After learning consistent control, the Launch windows are used to control the desktop and run third party applications.
One of Cyberlink Brainfingers strongest features is its adaptability. Depending upon the user’s ability or even upon the user’s level of disability, a computer can be fully controlled by defining which Brainfingers to use.
Once the user becomes familiar with the various Brainfinger sections,
the user can then begin to explore different ways to control and click
the mouse. Some of the windows that are used to learn to control clicking
and mouse movement are presented below:
The Brainfinger software allows you to choose from any one of the 11 Brainfingers to become your computer mouse's "click button." An example of the Switch Adjust and Practice window is where you learn how to click and practice. The majority of people choose the yellow B11 Muscle Brainfinger for click-control because it is the both the quickest and easiest to learn; however, any one of the other Brainfingers can be used. For example, people who have little or no facial muscle control or people with involuntary muscle activity can use one of the other Brainfingers for click-control. Although the following demonstration windows may appear daunting at first glance, they will become familiar and easy to use after only a few practice sessions.
Brainfingers software allows you to create both "single" and "multiple" clicks. The Cyber-Switch window above shows an example of a multiple- click response. In this example, David first created a long click; then two short clicks in succession. This screen-shot was taken right after the software recognized " two clicks" as indicated by the Left double-click message above the two clicks. The software recognizes the difference between a " click" and a " long click" by determining the time David makes the click stay above the Click Line. Multiple clicks are therefore determined by the time between clicks. Of course, all these values are user adjustable.
There are many advantages to being able to control both single and multiple clicks using the Cyberlink. Anytime you bring your click Brainfinger above the Click Line, you generate "clicks." Here are just a few examples of what can be done using Cyberlink's hands-free click-control software:
As part of the Cyberlink Explorer software, the On-Screen Keyboard is included for users to practice scan-and-click and point-and-click text entry as well to practice communicating using the software's powerful hands-free features. Shown below is a screen-shot of David's Keyboard/Button Control window in scan-and-click mode. David has just selected the letter “d” to be added to the already selected text “Hello worl” The scanning in this case went first by row, then by half row, and finally by letter. Note that the window gives you actual visual feedback of the click signal generated.
More than a learning tool, the Keyboard Buttons/Control menu allows you a number of ways to communicate. A full- keyboard layout can be selected as well as the option of using male or female voice synthesizers to "speak" what was typed.
As with all Cyberlink windows, the Keyboard Buttons/Control window is fully user adjustable. For example, if David clicked on the menu item Click Adjust, he could adjust his click-signal's sensitivity and baseline position as well as the timing and minimum click width (which regulates the mode of click).
The goal of the game is to create a "hands-free" mouse click over one of four randomly appearing targets which will make it disappear. When the game is started, all four of the above colored targets disappear. As the targets randomly appear, the software waits for you to move the mouse "create" a click which will make the target disappear.
The response times are saved and summary statistics are given at the end of the game including a time history which can be accessed from the game's menu.
Included with Cyberlink Explorer software is Billiard Brainfingers, another valuable tool for learning how to control and hone your brainwaves. Valuable for all new users who are learning to control their Brainfingers, Billiard Brainfingers can be especially valuable for users with severe disabilities, such as for those with traumatic brain Injury as well as for people who may not appear to hear or understand instructions.
This is how it works: When you start the game, a yellow ball appears at the right side of the screen and slowly moves horizontally to the left. The object of the game is to move each of the 10 Brainfinger balls to intersect with the yellow ball. When successful, the software fills in the center of the ball as a confirmation that the ball was hit. This is how the balls are controlled:
The tops of the first 10 Brainfinger values (F1 – F10) are mapped
to the ten colored balls.
The Grow Game is another introductory game for learning how to control the cursor. Because it uses both visual and auditory feedback, it offers simple yet compelling feedback as a selected Brainfinger is controlled.
In this example, the small red square in the slide bar represents a chosen Brainfinger. Once the game is started, the colored circle grows when the signal (the red square in the left rectangle) goes above the green baseline. When the signal goes below the green baseline, the circle shrinks. As the circle changes size, musical notes are played which offers additional learning feedback.
This easy-to-use training tool allows you to select either the Up/Down or the Left/Right axis and which Brainfinger to control. Because The Grow Game gives such easy-to-understand visual and auditory feedback, it is a good learning tool for everyone; especially for people with severe disabilities. As with almost all of our software, helpers for severely disabled users can easily adjust the user's signal.
Some of you may remember one of the earlier computer games called Pong. We recreated the game and included it in Cyberlink Explorer because it is such an excellent way to learn how to control a single axis.
As shown in this example, the user controls the up/down paddle on the left and the computer controls the up/down paddle on the right. You can also reverse the axis to practice controlling a paddle on the bottom that moves left/right. You can change the game’s paddle size, the ball size and speed, and the computer’s “expertise.” As with all our software, adjustments are easily made through the Adjust Menu allowing you to control the signal and to map any one of the 11 Brainfingers to control the paddle.
This is how it works: Success in the game requires that you be able to intensify your Brainfinger to move the paddle up or to the right, depending upon what axis you are controlling, and to relax to move the paddle down or to the left. When engaged in the game the excitement of the ball coming towards your paddle tends to stimulate an emotional reaction, which adds an interesting complexity to the gaming experience.
In addition, each time you successfully return the ball or the computer returns the ball, the speed of the ball increases. Thus in the face of the excitement of the game you have to learn to control the paddle while being able to stay calm in order to “win.”
As with all the games included in Cyberlink Explorer, the user is actually learning the necessary skills to control a curser’s up/down and left/right movement.
Along with other skill-building “games,” the Maze teaches how to control two axes at the same time. It is designed to hone motor skills and to give feedback on how the user is doing. Using its built-in timer, the user can now begin to quantify the speed by which the cursor is controlled and the “success” that is achieved.
As with most other Cyberlink Explorer windows, the user is given the ability to adjust the characteristics of individual Brainfingers being used to control the cursor. For example, cursor speed, sensitivity and baseline shift can be adjusted to affect the way the cursor moves in response to Brainfinger inputs. The game further prepares the user to actually control the mouse cursor on the desktop and thereby to control third party applications.
In the window shown above, David just finished executing a long click that toggled cursor speed to “slow speed/high resolution.” The result is that the cursor now moves slower, and the message “Slow Speed” appears in the upper left corner of the cursor window. Note the yellow click line: In response to the click, the software presented the “Left Single Click” message and stopped the cursor for a user-designated length of time.
Just as with other windows, the user can adjust the Brainfinger settings for optimum personalized control. For instance: Under “Click Adjust,” the user can adjust the sensitivity and baseline of the click signal, as well as to adjust the various timing parameters that affect multiple click responsiveness. Under “Pointing Adjust,” the user can also select (along with other things) her/his desired cursor sensitivity, speed, and baseline shift.
As cursor and clicking becomes both easier and quicker, our mouse controlled games become increasingly fun to play and easier to master. More importantly as these skills are developed, the user is encouraged to use the CAT where the desktop is entered and third party programs are accessed…like being able to surf the internet!
In the game above, David intentionally completed just one row and partially built up the other rows to illustrate what the game would look like. He was working with the yellow box set in the upper right of the playing field just before the picture was taken. The game is fun to play but be careful. As many players have discovered, Tetris can become addictive!
The Add/Launch Buttons Editor also allows users to specify how they want to control the mouse and clicking. In the example above, David wanted EZKeys to respond to a right mouse click from the Cyberlink. Thus, he selected Mode 4 (one of five modes of click-control possible).
Users can “map” Cyberlink clicks (both short and long) to virtually any keyboard characters. For example, B11 could be selected for the Wivik program. The left arrow key could be selected for the Clicker-4 program (programs typically used by people with disabilities). Users can also specify if cursor movements are to be ”on or off” for the two axes of control. For example, the window above is set for “scan & click-control,” so the cursor movement buttons are off.
Computer Assistance Worth Waiting For:
In the hands-free mode, each program window displays an additional menu that is controlled hands-free by your Cyberlink click. In the window shown above, David is now controlling his computer completely hands-free. David selected “Cyber-Switch” which brought up the Cyber-Switch sub menu. Note that “Typing” is highlighted in yellow. If David were to generate a click while “Typing” is highlighted, the Cyberlink will open the “Typing” program.
Users have hands-free access to all the windows of the Cyberlink software including making large and fine-tuning adjustments to all of Brainfinger’s settings, mapping, and scanning rates. In fact, anything that can be done with a mouse and a click can be done completely hands-free. By using the Launch window, the user can navigate to previously set launch buttons; start up, and run selected applications, totally hands-free.