Friday, February 22, 2008

Inspiration: Fisheye Lens (Ashmore et al. 2005)

In the paper "Efficient Eye Pointing with a Fisheye Lens" (Ashmore et al., 2005) the usage of a fish eye magnification lens is slaved to the foveal region of the users gaze. This is another usage of the zooming style of interaction but compared to the ZoomNavigator (Skovsgaard, 2008) and the EyePointer (Kumar&Winograd, 2007) this is a continuous effect that will magnify what ever the users gaze lands upon. In other words, it is not meant to be a solution for dealing with the low accuracy of eye trackers in typical desktop (windows) interaction. Which makes is suitable for tasks of visual inspection for quality control, medical x-ray examination, satellite images etc. On the downside the nature of the lens distorts the image which breaks the original spatial relationship between items on the display (as demonstrated by the images below)

"This paper evaluates refinements to existing eye pointing techniques involving a fisheye lens. We use a fisheye lens and a video-based eye tracker to locally magnify the display at the point of the user’s gaze. Our gaze-contingent fisheye facilitates eye pointing and selection of magnified (expanded) targets. Two novel interaction techniques are evaluated for managing the fisheye, both dependent on real-time analysis of the user’s eye movements. Unlike previous attempts at gaze-contingent fisheye control, our key innovation is to hide the fisheye during visual search, and morph the fisheye into view as soon as the user completes a saccadic eye movement and has begun fixating a target. This style of interaction allows the user to maintain an overview of the desktop during search while selectively zooming in on the foveal region of interest during selection. Comparison of these interaction styles with ones where the fisheye is continuously slaved to the user’s gaze (omnipresent) or is not used to affect target expansion (nonexistent) shows performance benefits in terms of speed and accuracy" Download paper (pdf)

The fish eye lens has been implemented commercially into the products of Idelix Software Inc. which has a set of demonstration available.

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