I was born and raised in Flix, a town in Catalonia (Spain) where the Ebro river passes twice. In the mid-80s I was given my first personal computer and since then I always liked computers and programming.
I studied Computer Engineering at the Rovira i Vigili University (URV). My Degree Project, which earned me the Extraordinary Prize of Degree, consisted of a program to control the computer with head movements through the webcam. After the defense of my dissertation, I gave a press conference that gave me my minutes of fame on TV, radio, and press 🙂.
In 2003 I founded CREA Software Systems to market an evolution of my project that I called Facial Mouse aimed at people with major physical disabilities. This allowed me to get in touch with the world of disability and, shortly thereafter, I started research collaboration with a Cerebral Palsy care center and to teach at URV as an adjunct professor.
Thanks to this collaboration I learned a lot of things about people with disabilities and how essential the support of technology is for them. It also helped me to develop new projects and improve the existing ones. One of these projects, SITPLUS, was the central theme of my doctoral dissertation (Ph.D.) and inspired the GameAbling project funded by the European Union.
Facial Mouse reaped praise and awards, but sales were very modest. Finally, I faced the difficult decision to abandon the project. I felt a commitment to keep it alive for the people he helped and, why not say it, for being the father of it. Then the opportunity arose to give it a second life as free and open-source software. Thanks to the funding of two public bodies, I completely rewrote the software for Windows and GNU/Linux. The project is called Enable Viacam and is being used by people around the world.
In 2012 the Spain Vodafone Foundation gave me an award for Enable Viacam (had already told you that I earned some awards? 🙂) and we started talking about a version for mobile devices. We reached an agreement and in November 2015 we published the first version of EVA Facial Mouse. Months later, we introduced it at the 2016 Mobile World Congress Barcelona.
EVA quickly gained popularity among groups of people with disabilities, but people without disabilities also started using EVA. EVA helps them to use the mobile device when their hands cannot be used because they are wearing gloves, being applied a tattoo, or had the screen broken, to give some examples.
What am I up to?
Apart from offering my services as a freelance, I launched the Ease Apps project with Angel Aguilar, a friend of mine and an assistive technology expert. This is a social entrepreneurship project whose goal is to improve the accessibility to mobile devices for people with physical disabilities.
Any doubt? Just leave me a message.