You’ve probably already heard of Google’s Project Glass, which aims to bring the worlds of eyeglasses and computing together. However, Project Glass might be beyond the budgets of many consumers, as it’s sure to cost hundreds of dollars while requiring a mobile prescription plan.
But what if we told you how to control your desktop or laptop computer with your eyes for just $30?
Yes, it’s true. Using a basic pair of glasses, two video game console cameras, and a headband, a team in London has created a device that can effectively track eye movement while costing no more than $30 to make.
Previously, the problem with tracking eye movement was that it required a very good camera. Since eyes move approximately 10 to 20 times per second, even top-quality webcams will miss out on certain eye movements.
However, the video game console cameras (it was not announced which console the cameras came from) are fast enough to track even rapid eye movement. Once researchers found the right cameras, they started developing software that would register where the eyes were looking on a particular screen.
Once users have calibrated the system, they wink to execute a command. Winking triggers a click, and users simply have to look at which part of the screen they want to click on. The entire system promises to be intuitive and seamless.
In fact, the eyeglass system can even be used to play video games. So far, it’s only been used to play pong, although the technology is obviously in its earliest stages.
Check out a video of the device at work here:
More than just a cool trick
This technology isn’t just a cool trick. It could change the way people with disabilities interact with computers. For example, those who suffer from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, and other conditions might have trouble using the mouse and keyboard on a computer. This device is an affordable and effective option in cases where computer users can’t control the mouse and keyboard.
This could be just the tip of the iceberg for the wearable computing industry. Devices like this could soon appear in kitchens, living rooms, and other places around the home. Maybe the next big tablet computer will have an eye tracking mode.
In any case, the eye tracking gadget is seriously cool. Since similar devices have cost $8,000 or more in the past, the fact that this can be created for a fraction of that cost is significant. Stay tuned to the Speed Up My PC Free blog for the latest information about this technology and other cool devices!