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EyePad: Gaze Promises to Turn Your Tablets and Smartphones Absolutely Hands-free
What would be the next game changing technology for controlling our devices after touch screen and voice recognition? Gaze EyePad is the best answer of this interesting question as through this you would be able to control and command your iPad by just looking at it. Gaze-based interaction devices have been around for 20 years, which are specifically meant for disable persons. But now Gaze promises to offer this technology to all for making their devices totally eye-controlled by allowing user to move a cursor with the movements of their eyeballs, or turn the pages of an e-book without lifting a finger.
The open-source software produced by the Gaze Group uses infrared light to track the pupils of users’ eyes, allowing them to control the cursor on a mobile or desktop computer.
In Denmark, an eye-control research group has just turned itself into a business, hoping to be part of the next wave of usability.
If you look at the big names in eye-control technology, you’ll notice that most companies are based in the U.S. or Northern Europe, places where there’s enough private wealth or government support to help people with disabilities pay for pricey specialized equipment.
“But not everyone gets it,” says usability expert Sune Alstrup Johansen, of the Gaze Group at the IT University of Copenhagen. “And obviously if you look at the rest of the world, a lot of people don’t have access to these expensive eye trackers.”
Johansen, a Ph.D. student, has spent almost his entire life on exploring the ways for making this eye-based technology cheaper and affordable for common people.
“After a while, we figured out that probably the best way is to go for a mass-market approach,” he says, “where everybody would have this available.”
Last year, Johansen and his fellows joined The Eye Tribe, a company seeking to develop the system to control mobile devices with their eyes.
Johansen explains how their EyePad works:
“You have infrared light that is projected toward your face. And the infrared light is then reflected in your pupil. And by seeing those reflections, we can pretty easily — well, not easily,” he adds with a laugh — “with our algorithms, we can easily calculate where you’re looking.”
The only hitch that makes this technology a little bit unreachable is the infrared light that is obviously not a standard feature on most smartphones and tablets. Johansen claims that the addition of this feature will be revolutionary and totally game changer as it means switching out a filter on the camera that comes on most mobile devices.
Still, it is a revolutionary technology that has sufficient potential to convince manufacturers for incorporating it in their tablets and smartphones as users are going to want it. Imagine the power of Eye-pad for playing Fruit Ninja like games on a device that can be controlled just by movements of your eye-balls.
Here’s a video demo from Gaze showing how beautifully an eye interaction system works?