P.Esser and T.J.J Bos at the Maastricht University have developed a prototype for reducing the repetitive strain injuries Air Traffic Controllers sustain while operating their systems. The research was conducted at the National Aerospace Laboratory in the Netherlands. The results indicate a clear advantage compared to the traditional roller/track ball, especially for large distances. This is expected since Fitt's law does not apply in the same manner for eye movement as physical limb/hand movement. Sure eye movement over longer distances takes more time to perform than short ones but it does not compare to moving you arm one inch vs. one meter. Certainly there are more applications that could benifit from gaze assisted interaction, medical imaging in the field of radiology is one (such as CT, MRI, these produce very high resolution images with resolutions up to 4096x4096 pixels)
Summary of the thesis "Eye Gaze Interactive ACT workstation"
"Ongoing research is devoted to finding ways to improve performance and reduce workload of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCos) because their task is critical to the safe and efficient flow of air traffic. A new intuitive input method, known as eye gaze interaction, was expected to reduce the work- and task load imposed on the controllers by facilitating the interaction between the human and the ATC workstation. In turn, this may improve performance because the freed mental resources can be devoted to more critical aspects of the job, such as strategic planning. The objective of this Master thesis research was to explore how human computer interaction (HCI) in the ATC task can be improved using eye gaze input techniques and whether this will reduce workload for ATCos.
In conclusion, the results of eye gaze interaction are very promising for selection of aircraft on a radar screen. For entering instructions it was less advantageous. This is explained by the fact that in the first task the interaction is more intuitive while the latter is more a conscious selection task. For application in work environments with large displays or multiple displays eye gaze interaction is considered very promising. "
Download paper as pdf