Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa's been spotted - Introducing the SMI Glasses

What a year it has been in the commercial eye tracking domain. In June we had the Tobii glasses which was their entry into the head-mounted market which created some buzz online. This was followed by a high-speed remote system, the Tobii TX300, which was introduced in November. Both products competed directly with the offering from SMI which countered with the RED500 remote tracker, surpassing the Tobii system by 200 samples per second. Today it's my pleasure to introduce the SMI Glasses which brings up the competition a couple of notches. Being comparable in the neat, unobtrusive form factor they provide binocular tracking with a direct view of both eyes.
Rendered image of the upcoming SMI Glasses.
The small scene camera is located in the center of glasses which gives minimal parallax. Although the hard specs has yet to be released it is rumored to have a high resolution scene camera, long battery lifetime and an advanced IR AOA marker detection system which enables automatic mapping of gaze data to real-world objects. Furthermore, they can be used not only as blackbox system – but may be integrated with SMIs current head mounted devices, including live view, open interface for co-registration etc. Estimated availability is projected to the first half of 2011.

Thanks for all the hard work, inspiration and feedback throughout 2010, it's been an amazing year. By the looks of it 2011 appears to be a really interesting year for eye tracking. I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Method for Automatic Mapping of Eye Tracker Data to Hypermedia Content

Came across the United States Patent Application 20100295774 which has been filed by Craig Hennessey of Mirametrix. Essentially the system creates Regions Of Interest based on the HTML code (div-tags) to do an automatic mapping between gaze X&Y and the location of elements. This is done by accessing the Microsoft Document Object Model of an Intenet Explorer browser page to establish the "content tracker", a piece of software that generates the list of areas, their sizes and location on-screen which then are tagged with keywords (e.g logo, ad etc) This software will also keep track of several browser windows, their position and interaction state. 
"A system for automatic mapping of eye-gaze data to hypermedia content utilizes high-level content-of-interest tags to identify regions of content-of-interest in hypermedia pages. User's computers are equipped with eye-gaze tracker equipment that is capable of determining the user's point-of-gaze on a displayed hypermedia page. A content tracker identifies the location of the content using the content-of-interest tags and a point-of-gaze to content-of-interest linker directly maps the user's point-of-gaze to the displayed content-of-interest. A visible-browser-identifier determines which browser window is being displayed and identifies which portions of the page are being displayed. Test data from plural users viewing test pages is collected, analyzed and reported."
To conclude the idea is to have multiple clients equipped with eye trackers that communicates with a server. The central machine coordinates studies and stores the gaze data from each session (in the cloud?). Overall a strategy that makes perfect sense if your differentiating factor is low-cost.