Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Inspiration: GUIDe Project (Kumar&Winograd, 2007)

In the previous post I introduced the ZoomNavigator (Skovsgaard, 2008) which is similar to the EyePointer system (Kumar&Winograd, 2007) developed within the GUIDe project (Gaze-Enhaced User Interface Design) an initiative by the department for Human Computer Interaction at Stanford University. This system relies on both an eye tracker and a keyboard which excludes users with disabilities (see video below). The aim of the GUIDe is to make the whole human-computer interaction "smarter" (as in intuitive, faster & less cumbersome) This differs from the COGAIN initiative which mainly aims at giving people with disabilities a higher quality of life.

"The GUIDe (Gaze-enhanced User Interface Design) project in the HCI Group at Stanford University explores how gaze information can be effectively used as an augmented input in addition to keyboard and mouse. We present three practical applications of gaze as an augmented input for pointing and selection, application switching, and scrolling. Our gaze-based interaction techniques do not overload the visual channel and present a natural, universally-accessible and general purpose use of gaze information to facilitate interaction with everyday computing devices." Download paper (pdf)

Demonstration video
"The following video shows a quick 5 minute overview of our work on a practical solution for pointing and selection using gaze and keyboard. Please note, our objective is not to replace the mouse as you may have seen in several articles on the Web. Our objective is to provide an effective interaction technique that makes it possible for eye-gaze to be used as a viable alternative (like the trackpad, trackball, trackpoint or other pointing techniques) for everyday pointing and selection tasks, such as surfing the web, depending on the users' abilities, tasks and preferences."

The use of "focus points" is good design decisions as it provides the users with a fixation point which is much smaller than the actual target. This provides a clear and steady fixation which is easily discriminated by the eye tracker. The idea of displaying something that will "lure" the users fixation to remain still is something I intend to explore in my own project.

As mentioned the GUIDe project has developed several applications besides the EyePoint, such as the EyeExpose (application switching), gaze-based password entry, automatic text scrolling.
More information can be found in the GUIDe Publications

Make sure to get a copy of Manu Kumars Ph.D thesis "Gaze-enhanced User Interface Design" which is pleasure to read. Additionally, Manu have founded GazeWorks a company which aims at making the technology accessible for the general public at a lower cost.

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