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CES: Using Eye Movements to Control a Computer or TV (Video)

Roblimo posted about 2 years ago | from the move-your-eyes-instead-of-your-aching-wrists dept.

Input Devices 43

Imagine not being able to move a mouse or use a keyboard to control your computer. Frustrating, right? A company Timothy Lord found at CES named Eyetech has a solution for this problem: an eye tracker system that can control your computer or TV (or whatever) purely through eye movements. This isn't something you buy on a whim; the system costs $3000. That's a lot, but Eyetech claims they were the first ones to produce a high-accuracy eye tracker for less then $20,000. Obviously, this is a boon to profoundly disabled people. But Eyetech's Keith Jackson says, in the video, that they also have customers who use Eyetech instead of a mouse because of carpal tunnel syndrome, and that with voice recognition and on-screen keyboards -- and Eyetech, of course -- you can use your computer without (literally) lifting a finger.

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LOL Dice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42969535)

This advertisement brought to you by Dice.

Re:LOL Dice (2)

durrr (1316311) | about 2 years ago | (#42969965)

Speaking of advertisements, I could see this being abused for next gen of intrusive ads.

Re:LOL Dice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42970003)

Awww, the shills didn't like your truthiness :(

Not the first ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42969551)

See http://www.magickey.ipg.pt/EN/Default.aspx

Nice. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42969553)

Now even retards can use televisions and computers. Thanks, Baquack Obamailure.

You've ruined America.

Similar concept (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 2 years ago | (#42969815)

The Nouse [nouse.ca] , from years ago. $150.

I believe there was another version that used eyeblinks for mouse clicks.

Re:Similar concept (1)

mog007 (677810) | about 2 years ago | (#42970919)


In college I took a UI design course, and we talked about eye scan as a means of user input. It's nothing new. It's been used for UI design to determine where users will look on a screen.

Re:Similar concept (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#42971113)

Or the EyeBoard [intelsath.com] , which you can build yourself. Even cooler, it was designed by a high school student in Honduras as a cheap assistive technology for people with physical disabilities.

Re:Similar concept (1)

nomel (244635) | about 2 years ago | (#42971765)

This doesn't give full tracking, only gestures.

Re:Similar concept (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42971257)

Seems like all of these solutions are designed for people who don't wear eyeglasses.

According to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction. About 64% of them wear eyeglasses. Source [glassescrafter.com]

I assure you, mental control doesn't help, either. (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42969879)

Imagine not being able to move a mouse or use a keyboard to control your computer. Frustrating, right?

I can still move the mouse easily. It's what's happening with my other hand that gets more frustrating the older I get.

Re:I assure you, mental control doesn't help, eith (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42969977)

Was going to first post - or first wink - but thought I'd drop in here and say TMI.

A good building block (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42969919)

Use this to control the focus of my windows manager. "Looking at a window" is a good heuristic for focus. Don't generate mouseclicks, thought. Need a new event for this kind of thing.

It's 2013 (2)

Khashishi (775369) | about 2 years ago | (#42969927)

It's 2013. I want to hear about brain controlled computers, not eye-tracking systems. We've had that for decades.

Re:It's 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42970137)

It's 2013. I want to hear about brain controlled computers, not eye-tracking systems. We've had that for decades.

Yeah, what could possible go wrong with brain controlled computers? Especially with us guys thinking about sex every 5 seconds. It isn't easy as is now to get any work done due to that fact!

Re:It's 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42973215)

yes for the brain controlled. How are people with lazy eye suppose to use the eye tracking system, you insensitive clods.

Re:It's 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42976583)

For the lazy eye, develop a work ethic.

Been done for 1/10th the cost... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42969947)


'nuff said.

Screw You Evolution! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42970063)

I mean clearly, we have these extremities which can do fine manipulation work that are being WASTED on "controlling things with dexterity".

Lets use our eyes to do the job, or better yet make it so we can hear using our feet or kick a ball with our nostrils.

Honestly what are you hands so busy doing that you can't control the video you are watching with them...

Oooooooooooooooh ok, nevermind.

cookie monster! (1)

mynameiskhan (2689067) | about 2 years ago | (#42970285)

Of course I will also send 'em a cookie that will tell me, what visitors to my website like to see and not just click. Ha ha me cookie can see.

Just think how the ad market would change! (3, Insightful)

justaguylikeme (963377) | about 2 years ago | (#42970355)

No more worrying about click throughs or whatever. Imagine your computer or TV just being able to report back to ad central which ads the users are looking at. THAT is the only impetus that would ever push this technology forward into common use in the future. It would, of course, be marketed as a convenience for the user or viewer, but it all comes back to the advertisers wanting to know exactly what the user is focusing on. Don't think for a minute that that information wouldn't be a gold mine to the right people, privacy be further damned!

Finally (1)

tirerim (1108567) | about 2 years ago | (#42970357)

Now I'll be able to set my window manager to use look-to-focus.

Less _than_ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42970473)

for goodness' sake!

mod dOwn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42970691)

are 4aving troouble

For your eyes only (1)

thereitis (2355426) | about 2 years ago | (#42970759)

This tech would work great with the MacBook Wheel. I see you rolling your eyes there - exactly.

Why does this get people excited? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42970771)

Obvious benefits for the disabled aside, I honestly never understand why people get so excited about eye control. I have zero desire to shackle control of my computer to my own eye movements, and I wonder if people are simply unaware just how flighty their eye movement is. One of the first things you have to learn when driving a car is how to decouple your eye/head movements from your control of the wheel. Particularly for games, I look around to evaluate, not to move.

I'm sure there are other use cases here and there, but I highly doubt it would add up to even 5% of the time I use a computer.

Not impressed by eye tracking replacing mouse (2)

Misagon (1135) | about 2 years ago | (#42970833)

I have tried a similar system at Eyetech's competitor Tobii where eye-tracking was used instead of a mouse.

While it was relatively precise and fast, it felt weird and constraining. Instead of the pointing device being an extension of myself, where I was controlling the pointer, the computer was controlling where I was going to look.
I don't keep my gaze fixed on the mouse pointer all the time, just as I don't always keep both eyes on both hands all the time when I am doing various tasks.
It felt also as if gaze-as-mouse could give me serious eye strain after prolonged use.

I think that the model is fundamentally wrong. My eyes are part of my input device, not my output device (that is controlling the pointer when I am using a mouse).

Re:Not impressed by eye tracking replacing mouse (1)

Puzzles (874941) | about 2 years ago | (#42972573)

Perhaps the approach is not yet ironed out. Consider how we use multi-touch today, as opposed to mono-touch (think single mouse and cursor). I was seeing and was interested in multi-mouse / cursor interface projects WAY before the iPod / iPhone.

There is no reason why this technology can't be used to enhance our already mouse / touch driven world. I actually see it having more application to be auxiliary to mouse input, largely because of the points you make.

Re:Not impressed by eye tracking replacing mouse (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#42973337)

My wife has a Tobii with CEye. It takes a bit of getting used to, but since she can't speak or move her arms, it's a lifesaver when combined with Tobii's communicator suite.

Shocking price (1)

Albanach (527650) | about 2 years ago | (#42970871)

In all seriousness, we have incredibly high resolution cameras available for years. I harbor a belief that the cost of these systems reflects a massive premium that we see attached to any 'medical' device, and that those who need them simply have to buy them, whatever the price. Add to this, the benefits we are all reaping from patents...

It's wonderful what these systems do. It's just disheartening that millions are being deprived of the technology, not because they couldn't afford the hardware, but because there's more profit to be made by keeping prices high for those in the west with insurance policies or governments that will pay for the adaptive equipment.

Eyemouse (2)

bjs555 (889176) | about 2 years ago | (#42971263)

Why spend $3000 when a similar program that uses any webcam is available at the link below for free?
http://eyemouse.org/ [eyemouse.org]
It's been around for a while. I remember trying it about 5 years ago. It might be useful in some areas.

Yes!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42971295)

Another reason to put a camera in my home and mine data from me!
Any device that requires a camera to be on in my home watching me and reporting to other people what color of boxers I wear will never be a purchase for me.

Re:Yes!!!! (1)

Puzzles (874941) | about 2 years ago | (#42972677)

I agree. I have not purchased a Kinect, mainly for this reason. An always on camera system just seems a bit too much 1984 for me.

Here is a chilling thought: what if those proprietary smart phones we use provide a back door to allow others to listen in while they are in our pockets, in a purse, on a desk nearby... (yikes, scary!).

Magnets (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about 2 years ago | (#42971855)

"Magnetic mounting capability" that doesn't sound good to use close to your computer.

Re:Magnets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42976877)

I have two speaker magnets on the side of my computer that I use to hold screws and screwdrivers while working on things. I've done this ever since LCDs became affordable. The DVD drive I'm using I bought in 2006, there are 4 HDD behind one of the magnets ranging from 5 to 2 years old, I had to replace my mainboard recently after 6 years of nearly 24/7 uptime, video cards well I replaced those just to be able to keep up with max quality on games, had to replace the power supply once and that was because the old one didn't have enough PCI-e connectors for my new graphics card.

The days are long gone from when a magnet would adversely affect computer equipment, at least not any magnet that is safe to be a meter away from. The last computer component to be affected strongly by magnets was CRT monitors, which aren't very common anymore.

History repeating itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42973223)

Back in the early days of the Macintosh, someone was selling a little headset that mapped your head movements to mouse movements. I tried it, and it mostly worked, but it was weird, as you tended to expect the cursor to follow your eye motion, not your head. So when you saw that it wasn't moving, you'd go, oh, yeah, and move your head, but the your eyes of course would have to go the other way to stay focused on the destination, so you'd get a little vertigo. No surprise that paradigm did not catch on.

This eye-tracking one might be a tad better, but only time will tell. And oh, the price point is probably a deal-killer for everyone but the paralyzed.

Douglas Adams on Interfaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42973367)

For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive--you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.

Zaphod waved a hand and the channel switched again.

I saw one of these being demoed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42975011)

They had a demo of this at the Orlando Science Center when they had their Otronicon show. All kinds of fancy simulations and stuff, and this was the most fasciating thing there. I was dying to try it, but they made it too interesting to children. I could never get a shot to try it out. I wanted to see all kinds of things like how responsive it was and whether it could deal with glasses, but I never got to find out.

Grafiti Research Labs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42977199)

A similar project that is open source and uses the Playstation Eye camera:


Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42977411)

few eye blinks and rm -rf / No thanks, keyboard/mouse is better =)

Old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42977607)

This isn't new at all, except that they are saying it's cheaper now. There are other products out there doing this especially in the areas of disability : http://www.eyegaze.com

Oblig... (1)

closer2it (926190) | about 2 years ago | (#42978101)

In Soviet Samsung, TV eye controls YOU! ;)
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