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New technology allows consumers to control phone through eye movement

By Mason White 2:34 AM July 6, 2016
Woman looking at smartphone (illustration) 

By: Feng Qian
Consumers who want to keep up with the newest technology can now get a phone with an app that can read its owner’s eye movement.

GazeCapture allows smartphone users to play games and open apps using just eye movements.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Georgia and Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany, have been able to train software to identify where a person is looking with an accuracy of about one centimeter on a mobile phone and 1.7 centimeter on a tablet.

The researchers believe that the software’s accuracy will improve with more data.
To accomplish this, the researchers created an application called GazeCapture that collects data about how people look at their phones in different environments outside the confines of a laboratory.

The app asks smartphone owners to look at the screen and directs them to look right and left. The information is then used to train GazeCapture.

The software takes into account factors such as the position and orientation of the head and eyes to figure out where the gaze is focused on the screen.

About 1,500 people have used the GazeCapture app so far.

When the app will record data from 10,000 people, it will be able to reduce the error rate to half a centimeter, which should be good enough for a range of eye-tracking applications.