Technology Information

Resources and FAQs for pALS

What communication device does Steve Gleason use?

Currently Steve uses a Surface Pro 4, Tobii PCeyeGo and a Tobii Mounting Bracket.


What communication software does Steve use?

Steve does not use a communication software. Instead he uses a free text to speak app called Balabolka. With Balabolka, he uses the tobii gaze interaction, the on screen keyboard, and pre programmed hot keys

to start, stop and pause when he is speaking. Steve prefers Balabolka over a communication software because he can have multiple windows/tabs running simultaneously allowing him to navigate his desktop more freely.


Home automation equipment


What automation system does Steve Gleason use?

Steve uses the PEAC automation system by Promixis. It’s a system that allows Steve full control over his surroundings including lights, doors, blinds, HVAC and the full range of consumer electronics including the Apple TV, BluRay players, Receivers and TVs.

For more information: or call 877.877.0643 x 4


What hardware can PEAC control?

PEAC can control nearly anything electronic you’d like controlled. Promixis can adapt the system to any requirements you have. Some of the more special things we’ve worked on are bed controls and elevators. Of course we control all the usual pieces like lights, blinds, doors, TV, DVD/Bluray and HVAC (thermostat).


How does Steve interact with the system?


A: PEAC can be controlled via Eye Gaze, Head Tracker, Voice control, Sip and Puff, Head switch, mouse and touch screens. Steve uses an Eye tracker.


Q: What happens to the automation system if the internet fails? Can

Steve still control his home?


A: The automation does not require the internet, while it uses the WiFi in the house or facility it will continue to work if the internet connection is lost.


Q: What happens if the power goes out?


A: Promixis works with customers to make the system as robust as desired and typically in facilities door operators will continue to work even during a power outage. Even at home we can work with UPS systems to make PEAC control robust during power outages.


Where can I see PEAC in action?

PEAC is available in the following fantastic facilities: Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea MA, St. Margaret’s in New Orleans, Chelsea Park in Dahlonega, GA. New facilities are always in the works check for more information.


I love what you have done with PEAC. Can we integrate this into our facility even though it’s already built?


A: YES! PEAC can be installed in an existing facility with minimal re-wiring. If your building is in the middle of construction it might not be too late to add a few CAT6 cables to fully PEAC enable it with minimal change costs. Contact us for details on how to proceed.


I have a tiny budget and am very savvy with technology or have someone who is can I still get a system like Steve’s?


A: YES! Promixis’ DIY (Do It Yourself) automation system Girder can do many of the things that PEAC does. You just have to do the work of setting things up yourself. Of course Promixis is always available via phone if you need us. For more information visit:


I am not tech savvy but would still like an automation system, what can I do?

A: Promixis can help setting things up remotely with a specialist nearby. Give us a call so we can discuss.


How reliable is the system?

Up-time for the PEAC system is counted in years. Promixis has been in the automation business since 2004 and our engineers have experience with automation going all the way back to 1998. Promixis is a reliable long-term focused automation company that has been helping people with disabilities for decades.


Q: How does Steve Drive his chair?

A: I’ve posted some detail on my personal blog, for example:


I’d say he’s been working with Msft on the concept since the 2014 hackathon — we talked about this here:


You can also say we’re working together to bring the technology to market.  But we can say with who or dates yet.


How do I get a communication device through Team Gleason?


How do I get financial assistance with my co payment for communication device?

What communication devices are available?


Are you aware of any voice banking software available as an alternative to voice synthesis programs?


When we talk about voice banking – we are talking about 2 “types” –

  1.  Message Banking (Digitized Speech) – recording your voice outright. ‘How are you’, ‘Let’s go to the park’, ‘lift my leg, please’. You would anticipate the messages, names, phrases, you want stored, and record each one.

MESSAGE BANKING – I can not tell you how much I wish I had understood this one earlier.  It matters.  It is a wonderful thing to have messages in one’s one voice completely.  Cadence, timing, inflection, etc.  Since I’ve learned about this I have been fascinated watching what different people choose to preserve in this manner.  Sometimes it can be as simple as an “I love you”.  

  1.  Synthesized Speech – you create a computer file of all the sounds your voice makes from the alphabet and combinations of letters. These sounds then are ‘synthesized’ (by a computer program) to form words, using each sound from your voice.

Here are some message banking options:

  1.  My first choice will always be John Costello’s program in Boston.

  1.  Sound Recorder – Microsoft

  1.  Audacity

John Costello  is absolutely the ultimate pioneer in this field.  Without a doubt – I know he would be willing to talk to you about his program.  He is truly a stellar human being. When I hook folks up with Costello – it is a huge relief.  I know that no matter what happens through the course of the disease – every communication option will be explored and each patient’s chosen communication methods will change with the person as the disease progresses.  

Voice Banking Options

  1.  Model Talker (free)

  1.  Vocal ID

  1.  Acapela

  1.  Cereproc


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