Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Eyeball-to-eyeball with your computer

Better not have jiggly eyeballs: a German research team is claiming that they have developed technology that may soon allow us to swap our trackballs and mice for... our eyes!

Years ago, something similar was tried with early Macs: that system included a small control box that sat on top of your Mac, as well as a special overlay that you would stick on your keyboard: it would mimic the Mac's sole mouse button. That product sped to an early demise, however: in order to use it, you needed to glue a small reflective disc to your forehead! And, if that wasn't already enough of a major turn-off, early adopters reported dizziness and vertigo from trying to use it...

What the Germans have been working on is a horse of a completely different stripe. EYClN purports to use special algorithms to compensate for very fast involuntary eye movements and blinking, as well as some special logic to make sure you only select what you mean to select.

Sounds interesting, but it's (for now) primarily aimed at helping folks with limited mobility. As the team continues to develop EYCIN, we may see a consumer version in a few years.

After that, of course, we can expect Microsoft to come out with their own version and screw up their first 2 iterations - but I'm not bitter, not me!

Anyway, here's the link:

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/Articles/Article.aspx?liArticleID=296371

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