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Project Named a 2006 Technology Laureate


BC System Enables Severely Disabled Individuals to Communicate via Computer

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (10-06) — Boston College’s EagleEyes Project—which enables severely disabled individuals to communicate via computer—has been named a 2006 "Technology Award Laureate" by the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA. EagleEyes will be honored with 24 other Laureates at a black-tie Tech Awards Gala on November 15.

The international awards program honors innovators from around the world who apply technology to benefit humanity and solve global challenges. Established in 2001, the awards recognize 25 Laureates in five categories—Environment, Economic Development, Education (in which EagleEyes was selected), Health and Equality.

Developed at Boston College—a project of the University’s Carroll School of Management, Computer Science Department and Campus School for the multiply disabled—EagleEyes technology enables individuals with severe physical disabilities and communication disorders to control computers by eye or head movement. One system uses electrodes placed on the head for those only able to move their eyes; a second technology, “camera mouse,” uses a video camera for those who possess some head control.

EagleEyes is used in schools and institutions in the US as well as in the United Kingdom ( England, Scotland and Northern Ireland). It helps individuals communicate and engage in formal learning that is age and developmentally appropriate. EagleEyes allows users—who lack expressive language capacity and are isolated within their bodies—to realize their learning potential and be active participants in life.

"We are very grateful for the award. We hope the publicity from the award will enable us to reach more children and adults with severe disabilities who might be able to benefit from the technologies," said James Gips, BC Carroll School of Management Egan Professor of Computer Science. "We also are very grateful to Boston College and our outside donors for their continuing support of this Project."

"All of us in the Campus School EagleEyes program are delighted to have been selected for the Tech Laureate Award," added Philip DiMattia, BC Lynch School of Education Campus School director. "It means so much to the staff that has worked so diligently for the past 11 years to implement the EagleEyes technologies as learning and communication devices. The distinction that follows [the award] can further the efforts of the EagleEyes Classroom in helping individual users. Each of the children and families that welcome us into their lives with hope in the use of EagleEyes technologies share in this wonderful achievement, and continue to offer testimony that it is only the mind that can free the heart to fully experience the richness and expression of one's individual humanity."

The 2006 Laureates will be showcased at the Tech Museum—one of the country’s leading science and technology museums—and featured on its awards program website. In addition to the Laureates being honored on November 15, Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be presented with the 2006 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award.

"The Tech Museum Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., are an incredibly important way to call attention to some of the most meaningful innovations in science and technology in the world, and to the often unsung heroes behind them," said Peter Friess, President of The Tech, in a news release announcing the 2006 awards. "The Laureates who we honor serve as great role models to future generations of inventors and engineers, and their work reminds us that innovation can be applied in profound ways to benefit humanity and the world."

For more information on EagleEyes, please contact: James Gips (for technical information), Egan Professor of Computer Science, BC Carroll School of Management, at (617) 552-3981 or; or Philip DiMattia (for information about curriculum and assessments), Campus School director, BC Lynch School of Education, at (617) 552-8424 or or visit

For more information about The Tech Museum Awards, visit