Muto became aware of his health problem in autumn 2013 when he was working as a sales representative at an advertising company. He was diagnosed with a terminal motor neuron disorder (ALS). Masatane Muto thought his life was over--until a combination of technology and creative thinking enabled him to thrive as a DJ using next-generation eyeglasses.
Muto suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Patients with ALS gradually become unable to move the muscles in their entire body as the intractable disease progresses. The British physicist Stephen Hawking is a well-known ALS patient. Patients suffering from the disorder typically die within a few years of its onset.
Muto uses his eyes to play the tunes. This is made possible by wearing Jins Meme, a special type of spectacles equipped with sensors and other features to detect the movements of the eye’s iris and pupil. Muto developed a system for operating the music player through eye movement based on Jins Meme glasses. Because of the disease, Muto cannot move his hands gently. It's making it difficult for him to properly handle the DJ's music playing equipment. After being diagnosed he soon visited a nearby optician to check Jins Meme. He then spent an entire year completing a system to handle music players and to send and receive e-mails by moving his eyes. Muto used the data analysis tool to develop his own system to operate music players.
“We were very surprised to see Muto working as a DJ, because we did not imagine it (Jins Meme) would be used in such a way,” said Susumu Ichinohe, a JIN official involved in the Jins Meme development. “I am really happy as its developer that I could provide cooperation for him.” “I am an advertising man by nature,” Muto said, “who wants to brighten up society with the power of my ideas. Hopefully Jins Meme will enable both people with disabilities and healthy individuals to express themselves. I achieved personal expression through music, but I think it would be great to expand the concept further to other methods. Like taking pictures, creating works of art, etc. For that reason, we wanted to make sure that the application at the center of this project was one of open innovation, which would allow us to create a base system which we could provide for free. We hope that technical experts in Japan will help further expand the functionality of the application.”