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Tech For Less Than $100 Allows Eye-Control of a UI

By - Source: IOP | B 8 comments

While gesture control of a user interface may be an enticing UI control choice for a combination of Kinect and Windows 8, there is an inherent benefit to this idea for those who cannot use a keyboard and mouse.

Researchers are proposing gesture control for people who suffer from medical conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, or amputations and have come up with a technology that could be very affordable to the user.

In a project pursued at the Imperial College London, researchers found that two video game console cameras, priced at about $62 each, as well as a pair of $5 glasses are enough to implement an eye tracking technology that allows a user to control objects on a screen. In their research, they were able to use the technology to play a game of Pong.

The technology uses the cameras to take pictures of the eye and calculate where the user's pupil is pointing. With some calibration effort, that information can be used to figure out where the user is looking to. The technology is also sophisticated enough to come up with the 3D gaze of the subjects, which the researchers believe can not only be used on the screen, but in the real world as well. For example, a person could control an electronic wheelchair simply by looking at a destination.

"Crucially, we have achieved two things," said Aldo Faisal, Lecturer in Neurotechnology at Imperial's Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Computing. "We have built a 3D eye tracking system hundreds of times cheaper than commercial systems and used it to build a real-time brain machine interface that allows patients to interact more smoothly and more quickly than existing invasive technologies that are tens of thousands of times more expensive."

The research has been published in the July 13 edition of the Journal of Neural Engineering. There was no information on a possible commercialization of the technology.

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  • 4 Hide
    victorintelr , July 14, 2012 2:29 PM
    Amazing, though they are obviously not the first to achieve it, it's amazing how much it takes to calculate something that the brain does it automatically.
  • 1 Hide
    scorch0062 , July 14, 2012 6:19 PM
    I wonder if it can track your eyes fast enough to play starcraft :p  lol
  • 2 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , July 15, 2012 5:49 AM
    The reason it's so cheap is because it's so crap; the cameras are stuck onto the glasses and you also cannot move your head at all if you want it to work.
  • Display all 8 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    godnodog , July 15, 2012 10:57 AM
    A similar tech exists here in Portugal since 2009, here´s the link for any1 interested:

    http://www.magickey.ipg.pt/MagicEye.aspx
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 16, 2012 1:20 PM
    Quick! Someone call Steven Hawking!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 16, 2012 6:45 PM
    It has existed much longer than this. In the mid 90's they had cameras that focused where your eye was looking. I am surprised it has not resurfaced in many other places before this.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 16, 2012 8:19 PM
    62+62+5 = less than $100? o_O
  • 0 Hide
    Massacher , August 14, 2012 11:45 AM
    this could have great potential for games!