VIDEO: How eye-tracking controls can work

VIDEO: How eye-tracking controls can work

By Rob Crossley

January 10th 2011 at 12:13PM

Retina movement mapped via electronic charge readings

An American engineering group has demonstrated the potential of eye-tracking controls in games.

A video demonstration of the technology can be found below. (Reading this web page through an iOS device may not display the video).

Texas-based engineering group Waterloo Labs places voltage-detecting devices around the user’s eye to establish where the person is looking.

Hunter Smith of Waterloo Labs said the firm was “relying on the fact that the eyes are polarised.”

In an interview with Venturebeat he said the eyes “actually have a positive [charge] at the front and negative [charge] at the back – so as they move around side to side in your head we can measure it.”

The technology, exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas, represents another chance for game developers to possibly think beyond standard controls for gamplay input.

Eye-tracking technology is something Valve, the Steam and Half-Life creator, is particularly keen on developing with.

The studio recently said it is “always curious about alternative control devices”, and is “constantly researching non-traditional controllers” for future gameplay approaches.

However, Valve appears to be more interested in tracking eye-movements with camera devices.