At Mobile World Congress this week in Barecelona there have been lots of fresh ideas and really cool tech appearing on the horizon. The field of wearables is hotting up and nestled nicely within that field is eye tracking. The EyeTribe are a firm that has already manufactured a $99 eye-tracking device for both PCs and tablets. EyeTribe say on their website, “Eye tracking can be used in a wide variety of applications typically categorized as active or passive. Active applications involve device control, for example aiming in games, eye activated login or hands-free typing. Passive applications include performance analysis of design, layout and advertising. Other examples are vehicle safety, medical diagnostics and academic research.”
But the firm hasn’t stopped at PCs and tablets and they are now working on technology for smartwatches as well. Sune Alstrup, EyeTribe CEO, showcased a development prototype of the hardware, minus the shell, on an elasticated band that had been modded to work from a Sony smartwatch. The possibilities are looking good for this type of technology, but it does beg the question – why would people use eye tracking technology on a smartwatch?
Alstrup explain that it may help manage applications on small screens, or that it may even help in saving battery life. The idea is basically, if the eye tracking tech was paired with an accelerometer, the hardware would activate and only turn on the display when your eyes were specifically fixed upon it, thereby saving energy.
Check out the following video showing the Eye Tribe Gaze Suite on the Android platform:
The smartwatch hardware that was shown at MWC was a non-working prototype and obviously in the very early stages. That having been said, the future is looking good for this type of technology and who knows, maybe one day we will receive our advertising in this way.
I can’t help but think that the Minority Report type of future is only a short period of time away.
[Image via i4u]