eye control

One topic that we often mention here on Health Tech Insider is the question of how to control wearable devices. Their small size makes keyboards impractical, and even touch screens may be too limited to convey much information. One technology that could have broad applications — especially for head mounted devices — is eye tracking. EyeTech Digital Systems is a company that is developing this technology for a wide range of applications.

In the video above, you can watch a demonstration of how the eye tracking feature has been added to Google Cardboard virtual reality goggle system that uses a standard smartphone for the display. By adding a beam splitter, the device can track the user’s eye position while viewing the image. This information could be used to control a user interface, selecting commands and performing other functions. It would have the advantage of being silent (private) and hands-free.

This technology could be just as easily added to an augmented reality display (where you can see the world around your while wearing it). It may even be practical to build into a device that does not even have a display; a series of glances could trigger a command, and the device could provide an audible or haptic response to confirm an instruction. The end result could be a very compact and efficient means of controlling wearable systems without a bulky input device.