06-Mar-2011 00:35

Could we control computers with our 'Eyes'?

For some years computers, games, mobile handsets and now Smartphone technology have been dominated by archaic user interface technology.
The main user devices have been keyboards, controllers, the mouse and even touchscreens…

What could the next generation of user interface technology conceivably look like?

Technological upgrades generally happen in tiny incremental steps, but the world of technology has recently seen a significant push towards more natural user interface controls.

Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect console games have discarded the traditional user control pad, instead utilising motion-capture technology allowing the user to become the controller.

A similar shift is taking place in the computing world. The Swedish company Tobii Technology has recently announced their next generation of computer interface controls -- our eyes.

At last week’s CeBit IT Trade fair in Hanover, Tobii demonstrated its revolutionary eye-tracking technology on a basic Lenovo laptop. The tracker captures the eye movements of the user, allowing the ‘eye’ to open icons, operate menus, zoom and browse emails and documents with a simple glance.

Tobii admit that this technology will not render the keyboard/mouse interface obsolete, but, as they say, “Using our eyes to point, select and scroll is intuitive and complements traditional control interfaces, such as the mouse and keyboard”.

However, this is just the start…

I reckon that if eye-tracking technology can be successfully & economically implemented, the keyboard & mouse combination may suffer a likely demise.

One problem of course, may be that our eyes naturally & restlessly scan the computer screen.

Would this mean that new ‘eye technology’ could, in error, open dozens of new windows or perhaps accidentally delete important documents simply because we weren’t paying attention?

On the other hand, successful ‘eye technology’ could signal an amazing innovation & prove a wonderful boon for the disabled - opening up a world of advanced technology that for many was all but closed till now..

What do you think?

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Contributed by Russell Henley on 07-Mar-2011 09:53
Although the tech is interesting behind this (and actually not that complex based on todays technology - we already have facial recognition software that will lock your computer when you walk away from the camera, and unlock when you walk back), it does suffer a lot of issues.

Firstly, humans naturally notice movement and refocus their eyes on that - every animated banner on a website that you glance at you will now click on or roll over - probably triggering all kinds of fun and games (especially when the advertisers catch on...).

It has much more import for accessibility to computing for those with some level of disability, as you can implement a lot of mouse functionality this way.



Russell Henley
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Henley Software Limited
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Contributed by Deborah Nielsen on 07-Mar-2011 09:52
It certainly opens your mind to the scope of future technology!

Eagle Workspace
Contributed by Dr. Mehmet Yildiz on 07-Mar-2011 09:52
We can do all sorts of things with our eyes.
Einstein's dad said "look" and with this word in his conscious he changed a lot in this world!

Mehmet Yildiz
Contributed by Dr. Mehmet Yildiz on 07-Mar-2011 09:51
We can do all sorts of things with our eyes.
Einstein's dad said "look" and with this word in his conscious he changed a lot in this world!
Contributed by Angus Whitton on 06-Mar-2011 20:33

I'd like them to fix speech recognition first....

Mind you the programmers would need to fix the existing software to enable that..

Contributed by Zara Lockwood on 06-Mar-2011 11:55
Eyes is the start, then thought power - it will open up the digital world for people with disability, old age and illness, people that can't move their bodies will at least have a mode of expression, a person in a coma might be able to say "don't turn the machine off, I am still here!"

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