This professor has an eye for the next big thing.
His inventions seem taken straight from the pages of science fiction.
Sciences and math professor Tom Hutchinson has spent a lifetime dreaming up innovations that you'd never imagine could work. Like scratch-and-sniff stickers. And a machine that lets you spell words simply by gazing at a virtual keyboard, shifting your eyes from one letter to the next.
It was 1986 when Hutchinson unveiled ERICA (Eye Gaze Response Interface Computer Aid), a device that allows those suffering from paralysis to communicate and write words with their eyes.
ERICA's tiny cameras and eye-tracking software have been praised by scientists and doctors alike. Lately, ERICA has been used to help diagnose autistic children.
And that's not all.
The U.S. government is trying to adapt this technology into the fight against terrorism, and video game makers have consulted with Hutchinson about ERICA, too.
In 2006, ERICA was featured in an episode of the television series "E.R."
But Hutchinson is used to the positive attention. In the 1960s, he worked for 3M and pioneered the development of scratch-and-sniff stickers while trying to calibrate an electron microscope through the creation of microscopic spheres.
Analyzing the flow of water out of the spheres, Hutchinson devised an idea to encapsulate perfumed water, and to have it released when the spheres were agitated through scratching.
Millions of schoolkids were happy to scratch and sniff away, which is just fine with Hutchinson.
"Nothing makes me happier than to see somebody using my technology the things I created to make their lives better," says Hutchinson. "It just makes me feel good."