October 25, 2012
Control And Navigate Your iPhone By Eyesight
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
For all the luxury and convenience offered to us by smartphones, it´s hard to overlook the fact that we still have to lift a finger and stroke them just the right way. Sure, some phones, such as Apple´s iPhone 5, are beautiful to behold and easy on the eyes. But other phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, keep an eye on us instead, watching and waiting for us to avert our eyes before shutting the screen down.
The question remains: Why is there such a communications gap between our looking at the phones and the phones looking at us?
A Danish company now hopes to have this whole issue sorted, allowing us to actually control and navigate our smartphones with our eyeballs, instead of our soft, puffy fingers.
God bless the Danes.
"You can use it for basic control, such as turning to the next page in an e-book, and playing games with your eyes," explains Sune Alstrup Johansen, chief executive and co-founder of The Eye Tribe in a report from the AFP.
This software uses infrared light to track the movements of our eyeballs. This reflected light is sent back to the camera, which sends the instructions to the phone. This means we could one day explain opening an app with the words “look up twice, blink once, and you´re in.”
This software can even flip the page of an eBook whenever it detects that your eyes have fallen on the last word and will dim the screen whenever you look away from the phone.
The Eye Tribe, creators of this Wall-E like tech, have said they aren´t looking to get rich from their invention and plan to give it away for free to software developers sometime early next year.
"We are releasing software developing kits to developers so they can actually start developing applications. We intend to give it away, it won't cost anything," explains Alstrup Johansen, one of the four PhD students which make up Eye Tribe.
"We do not intend to develop all apps ourselves, we are allowing the (software) community to develop apps.”
Eye Tribe´s main goal, however, is to partner with a tablet manufacturer and have this software built in natively, giving developers a chance to simply write apps which take advantage of this lazy-eye interaction. By doing this, they´ll be able to earn some money from licensing deals with partners such as Microsoft and Samsung.
In order for the technology to work on current devices, the device must be connected to a small, infrared camera. However, Johansen also believes the next generation of smartphone and tablet hardware should be sophisticated enough to run the software without the need for an additional piece of hardware.
"At the moment, if people want to use the software, they need an additional device that has either been added to a current smartphone or tablet, or a new hardware device that is not yet on the market," said Johansen in his AFP interview.
John Paulon Hansen, who once supervised these 4 innovative doctorate co-founders, believes this new software could substantially change the way people open apps, play games and interact with their phones.
"I am convinced that it will radically change things. It will be a completely hands-free interaction with mobile devices,” said Hansen.
While a bit frightening at first, this hands-free interaction could actually save us all from the dangers of pinkeye and diarrhea, as the Wall Street Journal has released a report today which suggests our smartphones are covered in bacteria and fecal matter.
Maybe going with an eyes-only approach is not only the way of the future, but a step towards a healthier tomorrow as well?