28 Mar 2012

The eyes are the windows to your soul, or for eye-tracking loads of information on your habbits and thoughts.  (Credit:  ThinkStock Photograph)

You can tell a lot from a person's eyes.  In the future, computers may dive deep into your soul based on your eyes.  Just reading an article and scanning certain words can cause changes in your pupils or blinking.

Eye-tracking relies on information from one or more cameras to capture these changes in the movements and structure of our eyes.  It can measure these changes with high accuracy.  The applications for eye-tracking range from disabled people, to user interfaces for gaming such as shooting asteroids with your eyes.  Some companies are already planning on putting eye-tracking into smartphones as early as next year, such as Sensye, a European company.  There are many computations involved in eye-tracking and it is predicted that by 2015, most devices will be able to do so with ease.

By 2015 eye-tracking should become more common and the next step in the evolution of the hardware and software is to gather information not on what is being read but on how it is read.  Such things as how our eyes might linger for a few seconds on an advertisement, or how they move to look at certain content on a page and more specifically what words and phrases we look at or avoid.

This brings us to yet more privacy concerns for you and I and information sharing mechanisms for large companies to utilize.  The information from eye-tracking will be collected, analyzed and resold to many companies ranging from advertisers, and analytics providers.  Of course they say in theory it will be non-personal anonymous data, but that will be easy to circumvent, through the use of the unique identifiers from individual devices where the data is gathered.

These future eye-tracking devices will be useful in law enforcement, such as those used by the Department of Homeland Security.  There are many studies done that show there is a correlation between blink rates, pupil dilation and deception.  Law enforcement can utilize this to identify behavior that is considered suspicious.  Devices like those made by Apple may have displays that contain thousands of tiny imaging sensors built into the screens themselves, thwarting anyone who would simply cover the camera to avoid eye-tracking.

It's only a matter of time before our day to day devices and computers begin to incorporate these new eye-tracking devices, taking information derived from your eyes to a whole new level.

Source:  news.discovery.com

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