6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET News Video: ALS patient more independent with tech

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: ALS patient more independent with tech

3:12 /

Eric Valor has been living with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, for nearly a decade, but he says technology, including a brainwave-sensing headset, has let him maintain a high quality of life. CNET's Kara Tsuboi visits him at home to learn how.

In general, how has technology helped you live with ALS? The short answer is totally. Frankly, with out all this technology to control a computer, and the access it gives me to internet communication, I would have allowed myself, to simply succumb myself to ALS years ago. With the technology available now, I am able to keep myself occupied both professionally, albeit volunteer, as well as socially. I am able to be of service to others and to the cause of finding an effective treatment for my own disease. This keeps my perceived quality of life quite high. I can talk with visitors but I can also schedule their visits. I can manage my own finances and health care. Outside of the physical paralysis that I am still nearly as independent and potent as before diagnosis. What are three of your biggest challenges right now. Like turning off light, controlling temperature, and how do you currently manage those challenges? I have an infrared transceiver which coupled with software on my computer I can control my television and stereo. I use various network tools to control other computers around my house and to help other patients around the country with their own computers. I have attendants who help with lights, temperature, windows, etc. And what was your experience wearing the Emotive Insight Brainware? It is very lightweight and comfortable in its current, second incarnation. The training of the device requires a little patience but it's surprisingly natural in feel. We use our interface devised the Philips POC product is a work of art. I am very impressed with the work done to ensure flow and feedback. If it were to hit the market, how do you see it improving your life? There are critical limitations if one wants to use eyes. Also eyes can fail. Medication interferes with pupils. In ALS, the eyes are relatively spared, but I've lost two friends whose eyes succumbed to the disease, and they could no longer communicate. With this product they could have continued living, that alone demands a market for this. How do you hope technology can improve to help other ALS patients? We have amazing technology and commodity consumer goods. That power must be delivered to the average person in a way they can use and at a price they can afford. This product can achieve both, while also being the most noble form of technology, restoring lost ability and personal independence. We, as people, are the expression of our minds. Our physical bodies are just a vessel for a manifestation of the mind. Therefore, loss of physical ability does not diminish our persons. All it does is limit the ability to manipulate the physical world. I am somewhat of a transhumanist and believe that technology can not only enhance abilities but also restore lost abilities due to trauma or disease. So until medical science catches up technology is the cure for [INAUDIBLE]

New releases

Tomorrow Daily 140: Google's Atari AI, a futuristic doghousedoghouse for £20,000 and more
26:40 March 5, 2015
On today's show, we check out an impressive robot that could be a precursor to dinosaur robots, an AI build from Google that learns...
Play video
The push to make VR headsets mainstream
1:42 March 5, 2015
Video games are literally going to people's heads. At the Game Developers Conference, virtual reality headsets were all the rage as...
Play video
Inside Scoop: Watches and what else to expect from Apple on March 9
2:49 March 5, 2015
CNET's Kara Tsuboi and Shara Tibken talk about what news might emerge from Apple's upcoming media event in San Francisco. Price and...
Play video
Hackaball brings the iPad to the playground, Ep. 194
4:37 March 5, 2015
This week on Crave we get to play with the Hackaball at the playround, find out what it would be like if Wes Anderson directed an X-Men...
Play video
Meerkat mania: Live-streaming app is new Twitter trend
2:50 March 5, 2015
Learn how to broadcast video on Twitter with Meerkat, get the band back together for Rock Band 4, and let Google be your bartending...
Play video
Netpicks: Free TV episodes and new movies on iTunes for March 2015
1:51 March 5, 2015
It can be hard to catch all the new shows on TV, so Apple's made some premieres free for a limited time. Plus, iTunes gets some movies...
Play video
Kyocera heads for Europe with the rugged Torque
1:07 March 5, 2015
The durable and waterproof Kyocera Torque (s701) sports a 4.5-inch display and sets sail for Europe in the spring.
Play video
Gionee Elife S7 is a super-thin smartphone
1:01 March 5, 2015
This smartphone is a mere 5.5mm thick, and has a 'chameleon' app that themes your mobile around colours picked out by the camera.
Play video