Modern, inexpensive communication technology for people with severe brain injuries.
Loss of the ability to communicate is one of the most severe disabilities a person can have. Being able to express one's wants, wishes and needs with a simple "yes" or "no" is a major step forward. The Minimeter's rolling ball with its continual visual and auditory feedback lets people with serious brain injuries control the rolling yes-no device with slight turns of their head or arms.
The Minimeter is available today – and the software is free.
After more than ten years' of development work, a satisfactory communication aid is now available: The Minimeter. And with it a well-developed pedagogic approach, technology and experience from trials with over 50 users in southern Sweden. There are even more people who are interested in participating: a half a dozen have been in touch just in the last few months. The Minimeter Project was financed from 2005-2008 by the Swedish Inheritance Fund and is currently receiving funds for two years from Sparbanken Finn's Future Foundation.
You can read about the Minimeter in the English summary of my PhD thesis, Doing for Understanding – On Rehabilitation Engineering Design.
If you are still curious and want to know more, please contact me, Björn Breidegard, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Minimeter in use
Emma Nilsson, Marigona Gashi and Magnus Jardby use the Minimeter for yes-no communication and to count, look at pictures and listen to music.
Three remarkable Minimeter films
See the films (it takes a few minutes to download them – but it's worth it) with Emma Nilsson and Marigona Gashi. In the first part, Emma is controlling the Minimeter with her right, little finger. In the second part, eight years later, Emma is able to answer "yes" and "no" by using the Minimeter's rolling ball. The third part shows Marigona answering questions with the rolling ball. Listen carefully when she answers the third questions incorrectly and quickly corrects herself and says "yes" twice – her for spoken words in 12 years!
Today's mobile Minimeter – what is needed
Today's mobile Minimeter is based on a laptop computer. The Minimeter is controlled either by movements, such as turning of the head captured on a video camera (mounted on the upper edge of the screen), or by pushing a button, such as the large red and green ones in the picture. With the game pad (blue object on the right), the user's assistant can control many of the Minimeter's functions, and also interact with the user.