Eyetracking is a technology to measure gaze and track eye movement. Sensors can be used to detect a person's eyes, calculate their gaze and track the eyes' movement. Studying a person's eye movement makes it possible to assess their alertness, attentiveness and focus, and thereby gauge the person's awareness and mental state.
Eye tracking is a technology for measuring gaze and eye movement. Sensors enable the eye to be detected, the gaze calculated and eye movements to be tracked. By studying individual eye movements, alertness, attentiveness and focus can be assessed, thus gaining an impression of an individual’s awareness and mental state. One common form of eye tracking are systems that combine eye tracking with ordinary computers and monitors, with eye tracking either integrated into the monitor or implemented as a free-standing device by the display. There are also more sophisticated eye tracking systems that employ several cameras to track more than one individual in larger environments, such as a flight simulator. This is the type of eye tracking that Smart Eye’s Research Instruments business area works on.
Smart Eye’s Automotive Solutions business area focuses exclusively on the software and algorithms necessary for eye tracking in vehicle interior environments. Smart Eye’s software and algorithms also use AI to become more precise and reliable, which can be critical when eye tracking in environments with challenging conditions, in terms of light, or when the eye is partly obscured. Portable eye tracking, with technology integrated with a forward-looking camera, is also available, but Smart Eye has chosen to concentrate on a different type of solution. Eye tracking is now an established technology used across a raft of segments. In vehicle interior environments, it is used for functionality associated with the driver. In research and neuroscience, eye tracking is used for diagnosing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, for example. The aviation and aerospace industries use eye tracking for R&D purposes, and for training. Eye tracking can also replace computer mouses, so it can be applied to computer interaction and gaming to enhance user experiences.
Eye tracking has several purposes:
- Analysing and understanding human behaviour and interaction with surroundings. By registering a person's gaze it is possible to analyse how the person perceives a situation, such as a digital interface, a film, an image or a physical situation such as a driving environment. Analysis of the pattern of a person's gaze provides important information about the situation and can e.g. form the basis for scientific analyses, interface design, advertising messages, or the design of a driving environment.
- Enabling interaction between man and machine. When a machine knows where a person is looking, this allows for expanded functionality and increased safety. Examples of where eyetracking can create increased functionality can be found within medical technology, where a surgeon whose hands are otherwise engaged can control functions with his or her gaze. Another area is within the automotive industry, where the vehicle can read off whether the driver is attentive or sleepy, and take action on this basis. Eyetracking is a key component of the development towards autonomous cars.
- Hands-free computer interaction A person’s gaze can replace a mouse or other input devices when using a computer, which increases opportunities for people who are unable to use their hands to interact with a computer. Eyetracking also makes it possible to create more effective user interfaces and better user experiences by combining gaze with traditional input methods such as a keyboard and mouse.