Imagine a computer control device that responds to the slightest of movements. Now remove the wires. Now integrate this product with the computer and software you already own. Now make it light and stylish enough to wear every day, anywhere. Now you have Impulse.
Impulse is an EMG (Electromyography) sensing electrode that senses tiny muscle contractions. Using its patented technology, the Impulse detects and wirelessly transmits the EMG signal to a computer using Bluetooth wireless technology. (A Bluetooth receiver is included.) Impulse's software then processes the activity as a traditional switch "click". Pairing the Impulse with popular accessibility programs such as EZ-Keys allows users to fully control their computer with the smallest of muscle activity.
How Impulse Works
The Impulse sensor
The Impulse sensor is an EMG (Electromyography) sensing electrode that senses EMG activity, which is made up of tiny electrical potentials that are produced by muscles and the nervous system when muscle contractions occurs. Using its patented ProActive technology, the Impulse sensor amplifies, digitises and transmits the EMG signal at the electrode site. Specialised software runs on a Microsoft Windows compatible computer that wirelessly receives the signal. When volitional muscle control is detected, a virtual switch “hit” is passed to special software (such as EZ-Keys) allowing users to control their computer. The Impulse can also function as an alarm that alerts caregivers to the needs of the user.
The Impulse sensor snaps onto a disposable electrode that adheres to the skin. The electrodes are small pads with a sticky side which allow the sensor to receive and transmit muscle activity. The computer receives this information, and in conjunction with communication software such as EZ-Keys and Eye Response, enables users to control their computer – effectively replacing the keyboard and mouse. This allows paralysed users to remain functional, accomplishing task such as emailing, research, online investing, shopping, and more.
The Bluetooth connection
Impulse uses Bluetooth wireless technology to send a reliable signal to the computer without any need to “point” the device. Impulse ships with a small, USB Bluetooth adapter, easily turning your current computer into a machine that Impulse can wirelessly control.
The Impulse software
The software is built using Visual Studio 2005 and runs on the .Net 2.0 Framework. Using these technologies the Impulse sensor is able to deliver virtual switch closures with an average delay of less than 25 milliseconds.