Monday, July 13, 2009

Oculis labs Chameleon prevents over shoulder reading

"Two years ago computer security expert Bill Anderson read about scientific research on how the human eye moves as it reads and processes text and images. 'This obscure characteristic... suddenly struck me as (a solution to) a security problem,' says Anderson. With the help of a couple of software developers, Anderson developed a software program called Chameleon that tracks a viewer's gaze patterns and only allows an authorized user to read text on the screen, while everyone else sees gibberish. Chameleon uses gaze-tracking software and camera equipment to track an authorized reader's eyes to show only that one person the correct text. After a 15-second calibration period in which the software learns the viewer's gaze patterns, anyone looking over that user's shoulder sees dummy text that randomly and constantly changes. To tap the broader consumer market, Anderson built a more consumer-friendly version called PrivateEye, which can work with a simple Webcam to blur a user's monitor when he or she turns away. It also detects other faces in the background, and a small video screen pops up to alert the user that someone is looking at the screen. 'There have been inventions in the space of gaze-tracking. There have been inventions in the space of security,' says Anderson. 'But nobody has put the two ideas together, as far as we know.'" (source)

Patent application
Article by Baltimore Sun


Bill Anderson said...

Hi Martin,

I appreciate the mention on your blog. I've come here many times to check out the latest developments in the gazetracking field.

The response to the product has been enthusiastic so far. It's my hope that adoption of Chameleon will help drive higher volumes and lower price points in the gazetracker market in general. We've got government customers with need and budget to deploy significant numbers.

We're always looking for new ways to do good quality tracking with systems that can be distributed in high volumes. The current systems have come far, but we hope to see a bit more commercial focus in the near future.

Anyone who wants to help, please feel free to contact us.

Bill Anderson, Oculis Labs.

Unknown said...

Hi Bill,

Good to hear from you.

Accessibility to the quality trackers at a reasonable cost is certainly one of the more important aspects for a wider adoption. I think the Chameleon has a potential and as you say there is an early adopter segment which needs highest possible security.

Sometimes I can't help to feel sad for the millions of individuals with motor deficiencies who would really benefit from this technology but cannot afford it. I've received many emails from people asking for reasonably priced solutions.

It's a catch 22 situation. Without higher volume existing supplier cannot lower prices and at the same time cover expenses for R&D. But, as with many high tech creations the situation will change. Not to long ago GPS positioning devices were extremely expensive. I have a feeling that the high-definition revolution in consumer video technology is an important component in low-cost eye tracking.

Providing innovative and useful applications is another, suppose we're both working on that one.

Let's keep in touch!