Saturday, February 23, 2008

Inspiration: EyeWindows (Fono et al, 2005)

Continuing on the zooming style of interaction that has become common within the field of gaze interaction is the "EyeWindows: Evalutaion of Eye-Controlled Zooming Windows for Focus Selection" (Fono&Vertegaal, 2005) Their paper describes two prototypes, one media browser with dynamic (elastic) allocation of screen real estate. The second prototype is used to dynamically size desktop windows upon gaze fixation. Overall, great examples presented in a clear, well structured paper. Interesting evaluation of selection techniques.

In this paper, we present an attentive windowing technique that uses eye tracking, rather than manual pointing, for focus window selection. We evaluated the performance of 4 focus selection techniques: eye tracking with key activation, eye tracking with automatic activation, mouse and hotkeys in a typing task with many open windows. We also evaluated a zooming windowing technique designed specifically for eye-based control, comparing its performance to that of a standard tiled windowing environment. Results indicated that eye tracking with automatic activation was, on average, about twice as fast as mouse and hotkeys. Eye tracking with key activation was about 72% faster than manual conditions, and preferred by most participants. We believe eye input performed well because it allows manual input to be provided in parallel to focus selection tasks. Results also suggested that zooming windows outperform static tiled windows by about 30%. Furthermore, this performance gain scaled with the number of windows used. We conclude that eye-controlled zooming windows with key activation provides an efficient and effective alternative to current focus window selection techniques. Download paper (pdf).

David Fono, Roel Vertegaal and Conner Dickie are researchers at the Human Media Lab at the Queen's University in Kingston, Canada.

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