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 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zapK5wvYU84)
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, t
|Contact: Michael Bishop|
Institute of Physics