Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Your Next Smartwatch Might be Controlled with Your Eyes


Smartwatch Controlled by Eye Movement

Things like turning the lights on and off, changing the volume of a song or flicking between TV channels can now be done on smartphone without the need of touching the screen. Eye tracking software researchers have come with an innovative latest `smooth’ scrolling system which according to them is identical to the movement of the eye.

Eye tracking on smartphone seems to be advantageous for hand-free use as well as for accessibility when it is not possible for the fingers or the hand to control the device. However it may not be quick enough in daily situations to be the only system of interaction. Researchers from the University of Lancaster have adapted a smartwatch which can be controlled by circular movement of the eye.

Observing a small dot move around a screen tend to activate an option, the same way as pressing a physical button or a tap on a screen could change a setting. Hans Gellersen working on the project had stated that `for smartwatches, this is significant because the watch is designed to be operated by the eyes and that is the whole point of why it is moved from a pocket watch to a watch which one can look at without the use of hands.

Eye Tracking Works through Head Mounted Camera

The mechanism of activating functions on following motions could be used in other settings, for instance TV controls. One could look at the screen from a distance and utilise motions to select functions. Each screen could have several functions with its own spinning dots which can be used in changing various sections. To make sure that the wrong dots are not selected, each one tends to move at different speed.

 The eye-tracking method tends to work utilising a head mounted camera which monitors the movement of the eye and is an off-the-shelf Pupil Labs Pro device. But Gellersen states that when the smartwatches seem to have inbuilt camera of a high quality they have the ability of monitoring the eyes’ movement.

Eye tracking is being established across various fields inclusive by advertisers monitoring browsing practices for the purpose of marketing, predicative tracking, in tracking to control cars as well as in future versions of the Oculus Rift. Gellersen mentioned that eye tracking has become cheap though it is not clear what the big application would be. He informs that the circular selection system tends to work in a way which is more natural than the prevailing eye tracking method.

Wonderful Technology

He further added that we rather show moving elements on the screen, then it could be more natural for the eye to follow the motion and it is how the eye already tends to work. The team had used a custom control system known as Orbits in navigating through a missed call menu, notifications and music app.

 The name comes from target which orbits a circular watch face where one tends to concentrate the gaze to trigger a function. Following the moving objects smoothly around the display, accuracy is developed and the eye tracking adjustment process is simplified.

Earlier for the purpose of activating a button, one had to look at it for long, staring at it, which is an unnatural thing for the eye to do and is also tiring. This could be an amazing watch since it has wonderful technology which can be controlled through eye movement.

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