September 16, 2014
Glass Gaze and the Haytham Gaze Tracker are two applications developed by researchers at the IT University of Copenhagen. GlassGaze is an open source application developed for wearable computers such as Google Glass that allows the wearer to point and select applications with literally the blink of an eye.
A small camera installed on the device enables the wearer to browse through apps and take photos using merely eye movement. Using variables such as pupil diameter and blinks, the application tracks the wearer’s eye movement and calculates his/her focus point. It then indicates the object of the gaze by displaying a tiny dot. Photos taken by the GlassGaze are processed with the dot indicator to determine which of the objects in the photo were targeted by the wearer.
In the current stages of development, the application uses a remote server running the Haytham Gaze Tracker on which the data is processed before being sent back via WiFi and displayed on Google Glass, thus forcing app users to be in a relatively close proximity to the server in order to retrieve the information. According to Shahram Jalaliniya, a researcher working on the project, the team is now working on developing an Android server that will allow for users to turn their Android phone into a server for Google Glass granting mobility to GlassGaze users.
A video by the creators of GlassGaze demonstrating its abilities and how it works:
Although at first glance GlassGaze does not appear to be breakthrough technology, especially after the last Google Glass update, it is still a first and very important step in the development of eyewear computers.
“Gaze data can be used for activity recognition,” Jalaliniya says. “For example, if the gaze is moving from left to right slowly and jumps to the left quickly, probably the user is reading a text. This information can be used by the eyewear device to interrupt or not interrupt the users or provide them relevant information. GlassGaze provides the gaze data with the accuracy of 0.5 degree which is close to the state-of-the-art commercial mobile gaze trackers. With this accuracy users can point to a target with the width of 100 pixels on the Glass display.”