February 17, 2015 5:07 PM EST

Don Moir was diagnosed with ALS two decades ago. He lost the ability to speak in 1999. But thanks to new eye-tracking software, he was just able to tell his wife he loved her — for the first time in 16 years.

The software, which is built by Not Impossible Labs, allowed Moir to approximate normal speech patterns for the first time since the disease took away his ability to talk, reports the Daily Dot.

With the new software, Moir chooses letter groupings with his eyes and the technology parses them into spoken sentences.

Javed Gangjee leader of the Not Impossible Labs team, explains the simple outcome of Moir’s program: “When he’s ready, he looks at the middle and voilà—his word is there.”

Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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