Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LG introduces the world first Glasses-Free 3D monitor with eye-tracking technology

Today LG announced a 20" LCD display with built-in "eye tracking" technology that enables glasses-free 3D imaging which moves this technology closer to the consumer market. The image below does, as far as I can tell, not reveal any infrared illuminators, a requirement for all known systems with high accuracy so it's probably more of a rough estimation system than a full-blown remote system. Best known accuracy (published research) under natural light is about 3-4 degrees of angle, with their financial resources they could potentially achieve better results. 
Left. The "special" eye tracking camera sensor. Looks like a rather typical webcam CMOS sensor to me. Unless they are doing some magic it will not allow accurate gaze estimation. Regardless, makes me wonder if 3D displays is the path by which eye tracking goes mainstream? Is this related to the collaboration between Seeing Machines and SuperD announced earlier this year or just a competing solution? Details are sparse, I'll keep you posted as it becomes available. 

Official press release:

SEOUL, July, 13, 2011 – LG Electronics (LG) today unveiled the world’s first glasses-free monitor utilizing eye-tracking technology to maintain an optimal 3D image from a range of viewing angles. The 20-inch D2000 (Korean model: DX2000) monitor was developed as a fully functional entertainment display capable of reproducing games, movies and images in all their realistic glory.

“With a full line-up of 3D TVs, laptops, projectors and smartphones, LG Electronics is by far and away the industry leader in all things 3D.” said Si-hwan Park, Vice President of the Monitor Division at LG’s Home Entertainment Company. “LG’s position has always been that 3D will and must eventually function without glasses. The D2000 is a look at what the future has in store.”

The D2000’s 3D effect comes courtesy of glasses-free parallax barrier 3D technology, and the application of the world’s first eye-tracking feature to the monitor. The combination of parallax barrier and eye-tracking in a single unit promises to open up new horizons for glasses-free 3D products.

Existing glasses-free 3D technologies generally require viewers to stay within a tightly restricted angle and distance to perceive the 3D images. However, the D2000 has done much to resolve this issue, allowing viewer much freer movement and more comfortable viewing. Eye tracking in the D2000 works via a special camera sensor attached to the monitor which detects changes in the user’s eye position in real-time. With this information, the monitor calculates the angle and position of the viewer and adjusts the displayed image for the optimal 3D effect.

In addition to playing back existing 3D content, the D2000 has a highly refined 2D to 3D conversion feature which adds a new dimension to existing movies and game playing.

The D2000, available in Korea this month, will be introduced in other markets around the world in the latter part of 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This video demonstrates the use of Ergoneers Dikablis Eye-Control Module used to interact with a standard LCD TV. The project was carried out in collaboration with Technical University of Munich and reminds me much of an ongoing research project at ITU Copenhagen.

Gliding and Saccadic Gaze Gesture Recognition in Real Time (Rozado, 2011)

David Rozado with the Department of Neural Computation at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid have developed a neural network approach for detecting gaze gestures in real time. I met David at ITU Copenhagen last summer when he was visiting and discussed this research, I'm happy to see that it came out with such great results. This research was part of Davids Ph.D thesis which focused on Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM) neural network which is a bioinspired pattern recognition algorithm. Using a low cost webcam and the ITU Gaze Tracker he is able to recognize ten different gestures with 90% accuracy using raw data. When a fixation detection algorithm and dwell time triggers are employed it is possible to achieve 100% detection rates (at the expense of longer activation times). 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Eyetrax webcam eye tracker from Carnegie Mellon

"Eyetrax is dynamic eye tracking software that uses a simple stationary web camera to detect eye movement. It can be used as a motionless computer interface and is especially useful when working with ALS patients. Additionally, the non-obtrusive nature of the program allows it to work perfectly to discretely generate hotspot maps for marketing purposes". The system is developed by Joseph Fernandez, Skylar Roebuck and Jonathon Smereka and was demonstrated at the Multimedia Computing Demos on May 3rd at Carnegie Mellon.

Utechzone demos

Recently Taiwanese Utechzone demonstrated a little game at Taipei Computex 2011.

Utechzone also demonstrated a driver fatigue detection system which is housed in a smaller formfactor. This system tracks the eye (open/closed) but doesn't perform gaze estimation. The video also shows the underlying gaze tracking system used in their Spring system which appears to have some issues with glasses.

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