Monday, May 24, 2010

EyePhone - Mobil gaze interaction from University of Dartmouth

From the Emiliano Miluzzo and the group at Sensorlab, part of the Computer Science department at University of Dartmouth, comes the EyePhone which enables rudimentary gaze based interaction for tablet computers. Contemporary devices often utilizes touch based interaction, this creates a problem with occlusion where the hands covers large parts of the display. EyePhone could help to alleviate this issue. The prototype system demonstrated offers enough accuracy for an interfaces based on a 3x3 grid layout but with better hardware and algorithms there is little reason why this couldn't be better. However, a major issue with a mobile system is just the mobility of both the user and the hardware, in practice this means that not only the individual head moments has to be compensated for but also movements of the camera in essentially all degrees of freedom. Not an easy thing to solve but it's not a question of "if" but "when". Perhaps there is something that could be done using the angular position sensors many mobile devices already have embedded. This is an excellent first step and with a thrilling potential. Additional information is available in the M.I.T Technology Review article.

As smartphones evolve researchers are studying new techniques to ease the human-mobile interaction. We propose EyePhone, a novel "hands free" interfacing system capable of driving mobile applications/functions using only the user's eyes movement and actions (e.g., wink). EyePhone tracks the user's eye movement across the phone's display using the camera mounted on the front of the phone; more speci cally, machine learning algorithms are used to: i) track the eye and infer its position on the mobile phone display as a user views a particular application; and ii) detect eye blinks that emulate mouse clicks to activate the target application under view. We present a prototype implementation of EyePhone on a Nokia 810, which is capable of tracking the position of the eye on the display, mapping this positions to a function that is activated by a wink. At no time does the user have to physically touch the phone display.

Figures. Camera images, eye region of interests and reported accuracies. Click to enlarge.

  • Emiliano Miluzzo, Tianyu Wang, Andrew T. Campbell, EyePhone: Activating Mobile Phones With Your Eyes. To appear in Proc. of The Second ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Networking, Systems, and Applications on Mobile Handhelds (MobiHeld'10), New Delhi, India, August 30, 2010. [pdf] [video]

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