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Digital eye

Eye tracking technology

What is eye tracking technology?

Eye tracking technology follows the movements of a user’s eyes, storing these movements as information. Eye tracking existed as early as the 1800s, although significant developments have been made in the last decade.

Many areas use this technology, including gaming, research, and medicine.

Woman wearing Oculus glassesVR Gaming

Virtual reality is one of the biggest developments in gaming recently. But, VR wouldn’t work without eye tracking. Oscar Werner, of Tobii Tech, says “a VR headset without eye tracking will assume that I am speaking to the person in front of my forehead”. A more natural experience would be to talk to people within your gaze, without having to move your head to directly face them.

Many gaming franchises use VR, including Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, and Minecraft. VR in video games involves wearing eye tracking technology in the form of glasses or a helmet. This often works alongside a controller to create an immersive experience.

Eye tracking on tabletEye Tracking in Market Research

Eye tracking is very useful for those who want to develop a product. iMotions’ Bryn Farnsworth explains that when people "wear portable eye tracking glasses, [they can] interact with their environment normally". The eye tracking glasses won't distract a subject, so their interactions aren't affected. These analysed interactions then form the basis of market research. Some examples of different types of eye tracking research includes:

 

Geometric shapesMedicine

For those who have difficulties communicating or moving, eye tracking technology could be very useful. Currently, this technology could leave you up to $17,000 (about £13,146) out of pocket, but OptiKey have been working on a cheaper alternative to help the disabled. OptiKey demonstrated the ability to type without using your hands using their eye tracking technology.

 

Eye tracking can also be useful in diagnosing autism at a younger age. While, most babies focus on faces and social imagery, autistic babies much prefer geometrical shapes. Tracking what types of images babies look at most can help parents know to look for further signs of autism.