Trend 3: Eye Tracking

The Eye : A primary source of information

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Well the title is pretty self-explanatory in that this particular concept deals with all things related to the activity of the eye. It is believed that of all the information that our brain receives 90% comes directly from what our eyes see and thus this piece of “human hardware” is going to be at the heart of ICT trends in the future.

Basic concept of eye tracking

Hence, eye tracking would pretty much refer to the activity of our eyes and how they respond to various stimuli. This concept would cover and take into account the blinking of our eyes, how our pupils dilate or constrict depending on whether we’re scared or excited and of course how our pupils bob around in the eye sockets when we’re simply looking around. All of these actions are very much situation specific and that is where the tech geniuses can develop interactive tools to cater to these specific situations. So, it’s safe to say that things look exciting moving forward.

Medical Solutions:

1. Eye controlled wheelchairs

Eye tracking promises to break new ground in the field of medicine. There is a large proportion of society that is physically handicapped and is subsequently subjected to a wheelchair to commute around. In the US alone there are about *2 million people who have lost functionality in their lower limbs and consequently have to be pushed around in a wheelchair. Now some people can roll over the wheels by using their arms but what if you get tired or worse what if you have lost functionality in your arms as well? Researchers at the Imperial College London have developed an eye tracking mechanism and installed it onto a wheelchair whereby the person on the wheelchair can steer the wheelchair simply by looking in the direction of where they want to go. This concept is subject to the user to wearing a set of glasses that monitors the movement of the pupil and feeds information to a computer that is linked to the motor near the wheels. The team at the Imperial College hopes to streamline this concept by allowing simple eye gestures to represent simple commands such as the blinking of an eye to have the wheelchair to start moving and another blink to make it stop or widening of the eyes to speed it up a little or to slow it down with a little squint etc.

2. Combating cerebral palsy

That’s not all, people suffering from hypotonic cerebral palsy will be able to make use of eye tracking technology in the very near future to communicate with those around them. This medical condition renders the patient incapable of establishing control over their muscles even though, mentally, they may be able to plan their actions but physically they’re incapable of executing said actions.

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Scope Occupational Therapist Celeste Clancy are the pioneers in this regard and have rolled out some experimental products which make use of cameras that monitor the movement of the pupils coupled with a computer display where certain symbols and commands are printed for the patient to focus on and the computer will in turn communicate with the patients’ family via voice commands or written text. So far the functionality of this equipment is limited to basic tasks such as issuing communication for going to the toilet and moving around etc. But researchers are hoping that in the near future certain applications can be developed for the patients to interact with and execute complex commands such as aiding in education and learning.

Security

1. Replacing fingerprint scanners..Already??

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Retinal/Iris scan security systems have been around for a long time if of course you have been following Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible series but that concept is not far from becoming a reality. Samsung incorporated an iris scan feature in their now discontinued Galaxy note 7. Now while the device itself was a failed product this particular feature worked pretty well and many users preferred it as being their phone security protocol over a regular passcode and even the fingerprint scanner because well who wouldn’t want to unlock their device by simply looking at it.

2. Tackling ATM theft

Researchers at the University of Washington developed an intricate eye tracking security mechanism to be deployed on ATM machines where cameras housed on top of the ATM screen scan how a person’s eyes move across a piece of text; this is made possible by using infrared light rays that will reflect off of the user’s eyes and travel into the cameras for interpretation. In a world where ATM theft is becoming increasingly common this might not be the worst idea. Similarly this concept could be used while shopping online where account verification might be required and/or accessing a secure domain or webpage – essentially replacing user IDs and passwords.  Below is a prototype

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