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Apple Patents Eye-Tracking User Interface PDF
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Feature Story
Thursday, 22 January 2015

Eyetracking UIApple has been granted a patent for an advanced gaze-tracking graphical user interface that could one day see implementation in Macs, iPhones, iPads or even a future version of the Apple TV. 

The following description of the patent was submitted:

"The eye tracking system may allow a user of the graphical user interface (GUI) to navigate or interact with various elements in the GUI, such as a word processor, game, web browser, or any other suitable interactive application, simply by gazing or looking at a particular point on a display of the GUI. For example, the user may gaze at a button on the menu bar of a word processing application, causing the eye tracking system to render a cursor over the button. In certain configurations, the user of the eye tracking system may be able to select the button using any suitable input device external to the display device that is presenting the GUI, such as a track pad or mouse. In other configurations, the user of the eye tracking system may be able to select the button using an input device built-in to the display device presenting the GUI itself, such as a capacitive or resistive touch screen. In yet other configurations, the user of the eye tracking system may be able to select the button using facial gestures or voice input.

In certain configurations, the eye tracking system may persistently render the movable indicator wherever the user looks in the GUI. This rendering of the movable indicator may be accurate to the degree that the movable indicator becomes a stabilized retinal image with respect to the user's eyes. As such, the movable indicator may fade with respect to the user's perception of the GUI. In other words, the movable indicator may no longer be visible to the user. In such situations, it is desirable to restore the user's perception of the movable indicator to counteract this fading effect. Accordingly, the eye tracking system may automatically alter the position, appearance, or both of the movable indicator so that it is no longer a stabilized retinal image and can be perceived by the user."

 
Google Halts Sales of Google Glass Eyewear PDF
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Monday, 19 January 2015

Google GlassGoogle insists it is still committed to launching the smart glasses as a consumer product, but will stop producing Glass in its present form and announced the closure of its Google[x] labs' Glass Explorer Program which was a kind of "open beta" for developers. Google further stated: "Glass at Work has been growing and we're seeing incredible developments with Glass in the workplace. As we look to the road ahead, we realize that we've outgrown the lab and so we're officially "graduating" from Google[x] to be our own team here at Google. We're thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality".

As part of this transition, Google is closing the Explorer Program. January 19 will be the last day to get the Glass Explorer Edition. Future versions of Glass are already planned and the related work will be carried out by a different Google division.

 
Eye Tracking Software Allows Users to Build LEGO Sets PDF
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Monday, 12 January 2015

The Eye TribeStartup company The Eye Tribe has announced that it is launching the world's first Android eye tracking software development kit at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas. With this SDK, The Eye Tribe is enabling OEMs and developers on the Android platform to create new experiences and products for the consumer market. 

During the show, The Eye Tribe demonstrated its Eye Tracking SDK for Android that provides a first step toward integration of robust, affordable eye tracking into mobile devices. In addition, the company introduced its new and highly accurate TV Tracker and showcase an exciting project with the LEGO Group that allows users to build their favorite LEGO® sets with eye tracking. 

The Eye Tribe is working with the LEGO Group to develop a unique learning tool that provides users with a completely new experience for engaging with their favorite LEGO® sets.

 
Innovative Display Technology Adapts To Optical Prescription PDF
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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Innovative Corrective DisplayResearchers at MIT, Microsoft, and University of California, Berkeley are developing technology that can adjust an image on a display so you can see it clearly without corrective lenses. The technology uses algorithms to alter an image based on a person's glasses prescription together with a light filter set in front of the display. The algorithm alters the light from each individual pixel so that, when fed through a tiny hole in the plastic filter, rays of light reach the retina in a way that re-creates a sharp image. Researchers say the idea is to anticipate how your eyes will naturally distort whatever's onscreen, something glasses or contacts typically correct, and adjust it beforehand so that what you see appears clear.

In addition to making it easier for people with simple vision problems to use all kinds of displays without glasses, the technique may help those with more serious vision problems caused by physical defects that can't be corrected with glasses or contacts, researchers say. This includes spherical aberration, which causes different parts of the lens to refract light differently.

While similar methods have been tried before, the new approach produces a sharper, higher-contrast image. The technology can be adjusted for different viewers, but it won't currently work for several people simultaneously who have different vision needs.

For more information download the published paper at: http://web.media.mit.edu/~gordonw/VisionCorrectingDisplay/SIG2014-VisionCorrectingDisplay.pdf

 
Finger Device Reads Books To The Blind PDF
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Friday, 11 July 2014

Researchers from the MIT Media Lab have developed a device shaped like a giant ring, called FingerReader, that can read to people who are visually impaired. After slipping the device on, the user just runs an index finger below the printed text in a magazine, on a business card, or on a menu, for example. A small camera scans the words and the device reads them out loud in real time. Audio cues and a small vibrating motor alerts the user if he or she needs to move to the next line or has veered from the line of text.

The FingerReader is a tool both for visually impaired people that require help with accessing printed text, as well as an aid for language translation. Wearers scan a text line with their finger and receive an audio feedback of the words and a haptic feedback of the layout: start and end of line, new line, and other cues. The FingerReader algorithm knows to detect and give feedback when the user veers away from the baseline of the text, and helps them maintain a straight scanning motion within the line.

For more information goto: fluid.media.mit.edu/projects/fingerreader

 
Researchers Use Pig Eyes To Develop Better Protective Eyewear PDF
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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio have discovered that the current protective eyewear used by the U.S. armed forces might not be adequate to protect soldiers exposed to explosive blasts. According to a recent study, ocular injuries now account for 13 percent of all battlefield injuries and are the fourth most common military deployment-related injury.

In a basement laboratory at Fort Sam Houston military base, the research team has spent the last two years simulating Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts on postmortem pig eyes using a high-powered shock tube. So far, they have discovered that the shock wave alone created by an IED, even in the absence of shrapnel or other particles, can cause significant damage to the eyes that could lead to partial or total blindness. Perhaps the most striking discovery is that these blasts can damage the optic nerve, which transmits information from the eye to the brain. Optic nerve injuries occur even at low pressures and could be the cause of many visual deficits, which until now have been associated traumatic brain injuries.

"There has been considerable controversy surrounding whether primary blasts could damage the eye," said a researcher. "No one had shown conclusive evidence before, perhaps because they weren't looking at the problem quite as closely as we have. We had some idea of what to look for based on results from computational models and now we have experimental data that supports this phenomenon."

This research will not only help physicians know what type of injuries to screen for and treat following a blast injury, but also create a reliable model to test various protective eyewear solutions that might prevent or reduce blast damage to the eyes.

 
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