Navigation Links
Controlling your computer with your eyes

Millions of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries or amputees could soon interact with their computers and surroundings using just their eyes, thanks to a new device that costs less than 40.

Composed from off-the-shelf materials, the new device can work out exactly where a person is looking by tracking their eye movements, allowing them to control a cursor on a screen just like a normal computer mouse.

The technology comprises an eye-tracking device and "smart" software that have been presented today, Friday 13 July, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Neural Engineering. Researchers from Imperial College London demonstrated its functionality by getting a group of people to play the classic computer game Pong without any kind of handset. In addition users were able to browse the web and write emails "hands-off".

A video of somebody using the device to play Pong can be viewed here (

The GT3D device is made up of two fast video game console cameras, costing less than 20 each, that are attached, outside of the line of vision, to a pair of glasses that cost just 3. The cameras constantly take pictures of the eye, working out where the pupil is pointing, and from this the researchers can use a set of calibrations to work out exactly where a person is looking on the screen.

Even more impressively, the researchers are also able to use more detailed calibrations to work out the 3D gaze of the subjects in other words, how far into the distance they were looking. It is believed that this could allow people to control an electronic wheelchair simply by looking where they want to go or control a robotic prosthetic arm.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the eye-tracker, the researchers got subjects to play the video game Pong. In this game, the subject used his or her eyes to move a bat to hit a ball that was bouncing around the screen a feat that is difficult to accomplish with other read-out mechanisms such as brain waves (EEG).

Dr Aldo Faisal, Lecturer in Neurotechnology at Imperial's Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Computing, is confident in the ability to utilise eye movements given that six of the subjects, who had never used their eyes as a control input before, could still register a respectable score within 20 per cent of the able bodied users after just 10 minutes of using the device for the first time.

The commercially viable device uses just one watt of power and can transmit data wirelessly over Wi-Fi or via USB into any Windows or Linux computer.

The GT3D system has also solved the 'Midas touch problem', allowing users to click on an item on the screen using their eyes, instead of a mouse button.

This problem has previously been resolved by staring at an icon for a prolonged period or blinking; however, the latter is part of our natural behaviour and happens unintentionally. Instead, the researchers calibrated the system so that a simple wink would represent a mouse click, which only occurs voluntarily unlike the blink.

Dr Faisal said: "Crucially, we have achieved two things: 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.

"This is frugal innovation; developing smarter software and piggy-backing existing hardware to create devices that can help people worldwide independent of their healthcare circumstances."

Contact: Michael Bishop
Institute of Physics

Related biology technology :

1. Study improves understanding of surface molecules in controlling size of gold nanoparticles
2. Tablet computers may interfere with settings on magnetically programmable shunt valves
3. Penn researchers study of phase change materials could lead to better computer memory
4. En route to a quantum computer
5. Computers & Graphics incorporates Collage Authoring Environment
6. People with paralysis control robotic arms to reach and grasp using brain computer interface
7. New research could mean faster computers and better mobile phones
8. Computer-designed molecules point to new therapy for cystic fibrosis
9. Quantum computer built inside a diamond
10. Honeycombs of magnets could lead to new type of computer processing
11. NSF CAREER grants support ocean energy, microforming, computer planning
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... the United States , Canada ... of all new cases of kidney cancer.   --> ... and Europe .  PRCC represents about 14% of ... China MediTech Limited ("Chi-Med") (AIM: HCM) today announces that Hutchison MediPharma ... have completed enrolment in a global Phase II study of savolitinib ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), the leading ... processes to develop and market advanced products and therapies ... Ophthalmic, and the Dental sectors of healthcare, announced today ... the Company has been dismissed by the court.  ... stated, "As we suspected, this case was brought by ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , October 12, 2015 cell surface ... billion by 2022, according to a new report by Grand ... to rise in incidence of oncology diseases and other cell-associated ... is expected to reach USD 6.49 billion by 2022, according ... growth in demand can be attributed to rise in incidence ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... for debilitating allergic and inflammatory diseases and conditions, ... Series A preferred stock financing. Concurrent with the ... also entered into a Loan and Security Agreement ... borrow up to $7 million. Patara will use ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:9/26/2015)...  Results of a TactioRPM pilot project in ... the Stanford Medicine X Conference. In a presentation ... Health Devices and Pharmacogenomics", Roger Simard , ... how senior patients equipped with connected health devices ... the TactioRPM remote patient monitoring platform were empowered ...
(Date:9/10/2015)... LONDON , Sept. 10, 2015 This ... dominate wearable technology products today, and emerging sensor types ... have risen through the peak of the wearable technology ... the slide to disillusionment. The common feature with all ... the key enabler for their most useful functions. Sensors ...
(Date:9/10/2015)... 2015 Pursuant Health has collaborated with ... an interactive, image-based health risk assessment (HRA) optimized ... The unique assessment quantifies user results into an ... an individual,s biological age based on personal health ... the kiosk. Comprised of age, gender, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):