Eye tracking is the measurement of eye activity. Where do we look? What do we ignore? When do we blink? It is becoming more and more common place within a variety of technologies from gaze controlled mobile phones and televisions to diagnosing brain disorders. Here are a few of its uses:
Laser Vision Correction
In laser refractive surgery, patients eye and head movements may result in errors between the laser beam and the target location on the eye. Eye tracking technology leads to improved alignment between the laser and the eye, giving increased accuracy and significantly better visual acuity post treatment.
Advertisers and research when and where people look when they shop to better capture your attention. It gives insight into what a customer is looking at when they are making a purchase.
Driver Drowsiness Awareness
Long hours, less sleep and distractions such as mobile phones are increasing road traffic accidents. Eye trackers can tell when a drivers eyes have left the road and detect eye movements that occur just before sleep. The eye trackers can alert the driver and save lives. Companies such as Caterpillar have already started to install this software in their vehicles so that they can advise the drivers to rest if they start showing signs of tiredness.
Eye trackers can be added to communication devices to assist users with mental or physical disabilities to communicate with others. The devices can be attached to wheelchairs so that eye movements can control the chair , permitting a user to manoeuvre by just moving their eyes.
Diagnosing Brain Disorders
Tiny and rapid eye movements called Saccades serve as a window to the brain, and can give psychologists clues about our inner mental functioning, and helping them to diagnose disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder and Parkinson’s disease. For example, autistic children tend to avoid images of social activities and favour abstract images, and rarely make eye contact when looking at images of faces. Similar, distinct, abnormal eye movements patterns occur in a number of mental disorders.
We are entering the beginning of a new era in eye control, many technologies may become redundant and many eyes may be watching what you are watching!