Switch Viacam, new free software for accessibility

Switch Viacam

Switch Viacam (sViacam) is a webcam based switch emulator.

It's completely free, open source and easy to use.

Using a web camera, you can configure a particular spot in which motion is detected to trigger a mouse click or a keystroke. 

Where can I get it?


About the project

Switch Viacam is intended for people who find very difficult or impossible to use common interactive devices (keyboard, mouse, joystick, etc..) because of their physical, and often cognitive, impairments.

Switch based interaction is used regularly when working with people with cerebral palsy, and typically requires the use of a mechanical switch and additional elements, such a mounting arm, to place it properly. The switch is connected to a computer which runs an application specially designed for this purpose.

Switch Viacam is intended to enrich the range of existing tools and its use is very convenient under certain working conditions. It has a number of advantages such as simplicity, since it does not require wires or other elements, flexibility, it allows to choose virtually any part of the body to work with, and low cost, requiring only a computer with a webcam.

The application, promoted by the Provincial Association of Cerebral Palsy (APPC) of Tarragona and partially funded by the Comisió URV Solidaria as part of their social Action Programme, has been developed by Cesar Mauri, who is also author of other human-computer interaction tools for people with disabilities such as Enable Viacam and SITPLUS.

Tests carried out in the APPC showed that the tool is very useful and effective, especially for physical rehabilitation activities. Isabel Ruiz, APPC physiotherapist, says: "It is very useful because we have succeeded in getting this guy stay standing, which is difficult for him because he had his spine operated and his erector muscles are still weak."