Eyeboard and the Embedded Entertainment System Inventor
Aside from Eyeboard, Luis is also credited for a number of inventions that have made significant positive contributions to the community. Among these inventions is the first ever video game system in Honduras, the Embedded Entertainment System. Luis also had a major hand in creating the SmartBike, an interactive exercise video game. Through these inventions, Luis has successfully contributed to the advancement of society; however, he himself feels that his work has just begun.
The 14–Year–Old Inventor
It is not surprising that as a scientist, Luis has made positive contributions to society. What is amazing about him, though, is all that he has accomplished at his age of only 19 years old. Luis began inventing at the age of 14, and since then has become recognized for his technological achievements. As a testament to his fame, Luis has been included in Youth Service America’s list of the 25 Most Powerful and Influential Young People in the World. Luis also holds a number of awards in various international science fairs, the most notable being his First Place title in the Engineering/Mathematics Category of the Colorado Springs Science Fair which was hosted by AFCEA.
A Conscientious Entrepreneur
Aside from being a very successful inventor, Luis has also had amazing achievements in the world of entrepreneurship for someone of his age. What makes Luis extraordinary however, is not just his accomplishments, but the drive that caused him to accomplish those things. Luis believes that through entrepreneurship, he is able to further improve his community. Luis sees business as a means of reaching out to others, using one’s resources to benefit everyone in his or her community.
Luis discussed this in a blog he wrote:
“The question should not be "How can I benefit from entrepreneurship?" but instead, "How can I improve society by becoming an entrepreneur?" If we see it from the perspective of the well-being of a business, most economists will conclude that the best results come when your decision-making skills not only positively affect your business' revenue, but also your team. If we apply this reasoning to the pursuit of our goals, viewing society as our main ally, we can most likely succeed in anything.”
Helping Youths in Honduras
The other thing that inspired and encouraged Luis to pursue his career in business was the experience of witnessing how numerous youths in his own country had no desire in taking part in helping their communities improve. As the future of their nation, the youths in Honduras were supposed to be learning and developing various skills and abilities that would benefit their country one day; however, due to the lack of support and encouragement, they simply grow up without having any vision of what they want their future to be.
Since he started his career, Luis has kept on doing what he always knew—innovating. Luis firmly believes that probably the best way you can contribute to your community is through making something that would benefit people. His idea is simple: find a need and do what you can to fill it. Luis often says:
“With the goal of eventually becoming an entrepreneur, I valued the importance of innovating. If you think about it, it makes sense that the most-needed project you do is the one that is most successful. If you can solve a problem for many people by innovating, you are definitely going to succeed in whatever field you are in. My objective is not only to help people with my projects, but also to encourage young people around the world to develop a particular interest in innovating to solve problems of our society to make this a better world.”
A Peek at Luis Cruz’s Bio
Luis’ rise to becoming an internationally acclaimed inventor started way back in 1993, in the country of Honduras. Even though Luis was born to a well to do family by their standards, the overall state of the country was not something that we can generally call “good”. A lot of families were living in poverty, and there was little advancement in many areas of society. What was worse was a lot of the young people, who were supposed to be the ‘future’ of the country, did not show much signs of interest or vision in what the future of the country should be, primarily because of the lack of support and encouragement they received from the government.
This was where everything started for Luis. Fortunately, Luis grew up in a family where his parents consistently encouraged him to become a person of worth. Luis’ parents showered him with all the love and support that they could, believing that their son was born to make a great impact in society someday.
As a student, Luis was often called a genius by his teachers and classmates for his amazing intellect. He was a very studious fellow, and from a very young age started to take interest in the fields of science, more particularly inventing or innovating. Luis said in an interview many years later:
“Since I was a little kid, I have been fascinated by the idea of becoming an inventor or innovator. So becoming an entrepreneur was something that I felt really passionate about. It was not only because the idea of owning a business was interesting to me, but also because portraying myself as a risk-taking person that makes changes and innovates to improve our society was appealing to me.”
As he matured further in life, Luis began to be aware of the problems that his community faced, and how big of an impact it made in the lives of the millions of families in his country. But aside from the common problems, such as poverty and lack, Luis was able to realize that there was a far deeper kind of lack that caused these things—the lack of people who worked together in building a strong and prosperous society. Luis recalled these things later on in a blog he wrote:
“Being from an impoverished country like Honduras made me see the real issues that many third-world countries are suffering from. I am not talking about the scarcity of food or other commodities that inhabitants of these nations may struggle to acquire. Something more important that might be the cause of all these problems is the lack of persistence and the lack of desire in young people to solve problems in a society by reforming or innovating. This is mainly because opportunities for young students rarely exist. In addition to this, careless governments and private entities do not focus on this problem. That frightened me and made me ask myself, how is a society supposed to flourish when the youth is doing nothing to ensure future prosperity?”
Realizing that a change had to occur, Luis began to have an innate desire to be able to do something to empower his fellow youth into action. The only problem was the issue of where to begin. To answer this issue, Luis made use of the thing that he always got interested in—science. At 14 years old, Luis began to study subjects that had something to do with technology, in spite of the lack of resources. For Luis, who was really eager to learn, even the barrier of lack cannot stop him from attaining his goal. Luis said in an interview:
“The idea of becoming an inventor came back to me as a 14–year–old high school freshman. I supposed that the best way of overcoming barriers was by educating myself in my field of interest. In spite of the scarcity of resources and support in the technological field in my country, I began to teach myself computer science and digital electronics. With the goal of eventually becoming an entrepreneur, I valued the importance of innovating. These ideals made me develop several unique projects using the knowledge I had acquired by studying as an autodidact.”
Embedded Entertainment System History
Eventually, Luis’ passions bore fruit, and at 16 years old, he was able to build the Embedded Entertainment System, the very first video game system that was developed from Honduras. Luis made this system to encourage his fellow youths to pursue careers in the field of technology, so they can learn skills that would help them become productive members of their community.
When Luis was at his senior year in high school, he moved from Honduras to the United States in an effort to learn more about technology to improve his skills and abilities. He settled at Colorado Springs, where he enrolled at the local high school to finish his studies. It was during his stay there that Luis met a paraplegic fellow student. After conversing with his schoolmate and learning of the problems that many paraplegics face in the modern world, Luis decided that his projects had to take on a new turn.
Inspiration for Eyeboard
And so, Luis began to research more on what technology can be used to help people like his paraplegic classmate. However, he learned of a very disappointing fact: Although there was indeed a technology designed to cater to people with disabilities, this technology was expensive and could not be afforded by many. Luis recounted this in his blog:
“Following some extensive research on how technology could be used to improve the lifestyles of disabled people, I discovered that this technology was not accessible for millions of people around the world. By reading about how the current technology worked, I was determined to improve the way they were developed in order to create an inexpensive solution that would benefit thousands of people with disabilities. I needed to change the way these devices worked to find a way to make them affordable for the sake of humanity.”
Determined to make a change in this issue, Luis began to heavily invest on his own eyeball-tracking project. It was indeed a heavy investment, as it took a lot of his time, effort, and money on countless hours of researching, coding, and troubleshooting. Through various trial and error stages, Luis was eventually able to make a more affordable and working eye-tracking system which he called the Eyeboard.
One of the 25 Most Powerful and Influential Young People in the World
Through the help of several friends who he met in the United States, Luis was able to get his invention to the public and patent it. That was the beginning of his fame. From the moment the Eyeboard came to public attention, it did not take long for the system to become popular for its affordability. Furthermore, Luis began to receive credit for making such an outstanding device. In 2012, he was honoured by Youth Service America by including him their list of the 25 Most Powerful and Influential Young People in the World.
Today, Luis is a college student studying Electrical Engineering and is looking forward to completing his degree so he could do more for the society. For him, the work is never finished. Amidst all of his achievements, Luis knows that there are still a lot to be done; a lot of issues that need to be solved, and through innovation, the possibilities of solving them are endless. Luis’ life constantly reminds us of the fact that people, no matter how young they may be, if given the information and encouragement, can become outstanding in their own right and can bring great hope of improvement to their community.
“I define myself as an entrepreneur. More specifically, I tell people that I am an entrepreneur in philanthropy because I value the importance of helping others. People usually define philanthropy as the act of giving away money to charity; however, it is actually a very broad term. To put it simply, it is the act of "loving humanity." Therefore, any act that expresses this love for humanity can be expressed as a philanthropic act. I have learned that by innovating and stimulating the development of society at the same time, the best result will always come if you work as an entrepreneur for the sake of philanthropy.”
- Embedded Entertainment System
Awards and Achievements
- 2007: Built the first video game system in Honduras
- 2012: Included in the 25 Most Powerful and Influential Young People in the World by Youth Service America
- Won First Place in INFOP’s First Technological Fair
- Named an Outstanding Citizen by Rotary International
- Won First Place in the Engineering/Mathematics Category at the Colorado Springs Science Fair by AFCEA