At the recent CEATEC show in Japan, engineers from NTT Docomo (Tokyo, Japan) demonstrated a system that allows tablets to be operated simply by looking at them.
NTT's so-called "i-beam" system employs eye-tracking technology from Tobii Technology (Danderyd, Sweden) and features two cameras that detect the movement of the eyes by imaging infra-red beams projected onto them. From this, the line of sight of a user is inferred.
Before using the tablet, a user must first calibrate it by focusing on five small green circles on the screen of the tablet. Once accomplished, eye movements can then be used to scroll, open links, zoom in and zoom out, and turn pages.
When an eye movement has been detected that will close an application on the tablet, a user is prompted to confirm the request, preventing unintentional closing of the application.
A video of the NTT demo unit in operation can be found on YouTube here.
Recent articles on eye-tracking you might also find of interest.
1. Eye tracking helps spot movement disorder
Tobii Technology (Danderyd, Sweden) has selected a behavioral research team that used eye-tracking technology to enhance its understanding of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) as the winner of its annual Tobii EyeTrack Award.
2. Eye tracking may enable researchers to determine the cause of crashes
Researchers at Montana State University's Western Transportation Institute (Bozeman, MT, USA) are outfitting a new vehicle with eye-tracking sensors to help them understand why young drivers are unable to perceive road hazards.
3. Eye tracker helps the disabled to interact with their surroundings
Researchers led by Aldo Faisal, PhD, from Imperial College London have developed an inexpensive eye movement tracking system. The GT3D device consists of two PlayStation Eye cameras attached to a pair of glasses, which capture images of the irises that can then be used to analyze the position of the user's pupils.
-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design