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Eye-controlled Laptop Presented At CeBit

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the stop-looking-at-that dept.

Input Devices 43

siliconbits writes "Microsoft is rumoured to be one of their partners; maybe they'll built it in the next Kinect. 'Computer manufacturer Lenovo has partnered with Swedish startup Tobii Technology to launch the world's first eye-controlled laptop, which will be on display as from today at CeBIT in Hannover.'"

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firirist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346764)

oooh ehiaijj

Indeed (2)

solevita (967690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346780)

Maybe the next Slashdot summary will be built it in English.

Cool interface. (3, Insightful)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346796)

It seems the most innovative thing is not the actual eye-tracking, but coming up with an interface that is actually useful, and not just "the mouse follows your eye", which as the guy rightly says would be really annoying.

Does anyone know how the tech works? It looks like you can see two infra-red emitters in the sensor area...

Re:Cool interface. (2)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346830)

Two infra-red sources bounce invisible light off the user's retinas. The reflected light is picked up by two cameras and the data used to calculate exactly where the user is looking.

That's from a different, albeit shorter article. That being said, I can't confirm it from Tobii's actual website.

here's the link, just in case. [] [] ">and of course, Tobii themselves.

Re:Cool interface. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346958)

Given that eye tracking has been used for years(though usually in slightly bulkier rigs) for things like attention study, website layout optimization, etc. it certainly isn't the novelty.

You usually generate a "heat map" of where the user is focusing, then tweak your layout/visual cues so that the test users find that their eyes are "guided" naturally around your layout. Turning that into a UI that would be attractive to somebody with a functioning lower body, though, is an interesting challenge...

Re:Cool interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35351348)

Actually, doing eye-tracking accurately has been an open problem for a long time. Specifically, you could detect lateral (left-right) eye movements pretty well, but the vertical eye movements (up-down) were really difficult to track except with pretty coarse resolution. That, however, has been enough for tracking larger visual objects such as ads or website layout, where you don't need to pinpoint a few pixels, but mostly chunks of content separated by whitespace and borders.

From the description in a related Engadget article, they've managed to make this very accurate indeed. I suspect it's something to do with using IR, two cameras instead of one and the positioning of the sensors.

Re:Cool interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35347042)

It would be awesome if it was independent of the mouse and you could minimize/maximize windows just by looking at them on the toolbar

Re:Cool interface. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35347444)

What I have wanted for a long time is a system that automatically activates the window that I am looking at for multi-monitor setups. When I am working with a handful of programs at once (LaTeX editor, multiple image editors, source documents, code editors), I want my keyboard input to go to the program that is active in my MIND (which, generally, is what I am looking at). When I find myself starting to get into flow of writing, pausing to find the right window again really puts a damper on progress.

An eye-based tracker that selects the active window for keyboard and mouse inputs would be very useful, especially for multiple, large monitors.

Even better would be for sharing keyboard and mouse inputs between multiple PCs, when each PC has dedicated monitors spread all over the desk...

Hmmph (5, Funny)

return 42 (459012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346804)

Silly idea (rolls eyes) dsf(^*7w35487z wait, what happened?

This is the first viable step... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346852) locking out replicants.

A good name would be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346934)

They would call it the eyeLaptop, but Apple would sue them!

Tobii a startup? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35346940)

Tobii is not necessarily considered a startup. It's been around for a while now and has been selling eye tracking solutions to the scientific community. Hopefully the 'general market' will drive prices down on these suckers though. 8k for what is basically a 120fps camera is a bit much. Where I work, we do gaze and eye tracking with a single IR camera.

Re:Tobii a startup? (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352676)

Yeah. Tobii has been shipping some really sweet tablet communication devices for people with disabilities with eye tracking for a couple years now. I've played with a few of them and they work pretty well (though operating Windows with it is tiring).
The price tag on that eye-tracker add-on is jaw-dropping. I'm hoping that this tech can go mainstream, making it come down in price to make it more available to people with special needs who need it.

Gates has 'vision' for home nuclear power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35346950)

translated from history; gates sees yet another subscription monopoly on the horizon, that could be set up to be controlled in the same gottiesque manner the softwars were run under, until the originators of the 'product' (US by the way) find a way to distribute it on a humane level by breaking the gov't. supported monopoly....AGAIN.... see you there? pay attention now, that's always affordable, & can lead to contact with some very caring individuals/groups using the creators' ever abundant gifts, including free newclear power. the alternatives...

By Carl Teichrib:

â€The Georgia Guidestones, a massive granite edifice planted in the Georgia countryside, contains a list of ten new commandments for Earthâ€s citizens. The first commandment, and the one which concerns this article, simply states; â€Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.â€

Robert Walker, former chair of PepsiCo and Proctor & Gamble on water:

Water is a gift of nature. Its delivery is not. It must be priced to insure it is used sustainably.

Mikhail Gorbachev:

â€We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there arenâ€t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.â€

Jacques Cousteau UNESCO Courier 1991:

â€In order to save the planet it would be necessary to kill 350,000 people per day.â€

Jacques Cousteau, Population: Opposing Viewpoints:

â€If we want our precarious endeavor to succeed, we must convince all human beings to participate in our adventure, and we must urgently find solutions to curb the population explosion that has a direct influence on the impoverishment of the less-favoured communities. Otherwise, generalized resentment will beget hatred, and the ugliest genocide imaginable, involving billions of people, will become unavoidable.â€

â€Uncontrolled population growth and poverty must not be fought from inside, from Europe, from North America, or any nation or group of nations; it must be attacked from the outside – by international agencies helped in the formidable job by competent and totally non-governmental organizations.â€

David Rockefeller: Memoirs 2002 Founder of the CFR:

â€We wield over American political and economical institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as â€internationalists†and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political structure, one world, if you will. If thatâ€s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.â€
David Rockefeller, Co-founder of the Trilateral Commission:

â€We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine & other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promise of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plans for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. Thomas Ferguson, the Latin American Case Officer for the State Departmentâ€s Office of Population Affairs (OPA) (now the US State Dept. Office of Population Affairs, est. by Henry Kissinger in 1975): â€There is a single theme behind all our work -we must reduce population levels,†said Thomas Ferguson, the Latin American case officer for the State Departmentâ€s Office of Population Affairs (OPA). â€Either they [governments] do it our way, through nice clean methods or they will get the kind of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran, or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it. â€The professionals,†said Ferguson, â€arenâ€t interested in lowering population for humanitarian reasons. That sounds nice. We look at resources and environmental constraints. We look at our strategic needs, and we say that this country must lower its population -or else we will have trouble.

â€So steps are taken. El Salvador is an example where our failure to lower population by simple means has created the basis for a national security crisis. The government of El Salvador failed to use our programs to lower their population. Now they get a civil war because of it…. There will be dislocation and food shortages. They still have too many people there.†(1981)

Aldous Huxley, Lecture named Population Explosion 1959:

â€â€¦Let us ask ourselves what the practical alternatives are as we confront this problem of population growth. One alternative is to do nothing in particular about it and just let things go on as they are…The question is: Are we going to restore the balance in the natural way, which is a brutal and entirely anti-human way, or are we going to restore it in some intelligent, rational, and humane way…Try to increase production as much as possible and at the same time try to re-establish the balance between the birth rate by means less gruesome than those which are used by nature – by intelligent and human methods?…There are colossal difficulties in the way of implementing any large-scale policy of limitation of population; whereas death control is extremely easy under modern circumstances, birth control is extremely difficult. The reason is very simple: death control – the control, for example, of infectious diseases – can be accomplished by a handful of experts and quite a small labour force of unskilled persons and requires a very small capital expenditure.â€

Barry Commoner, Making Peace with the Planet:

â€There have been â€triage†proposals that would condemn whole nations to death through some species of global â€benign neglectâ€. There have been schemes for coercing people to curtail their fertility, by physical and legal means that are ominously left unspecified. Now we are told that we must curtail rather than extend our efforts to feed the hungry peoples of the world. Where will it end?†Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, April 28, 1997, Testimony before Congressional Committee: â€There are some reports, for example, that some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus, and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. Itâ€s real, and thatâ€s the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and thatâ€s why this is so important.â€

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, April 28, 1997; Testimony before Congressional Committee:

â€And advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.â€

Sir Julian Huxley, UNESCO: its Purpose and its Philosophy:

â€Political unification in some sort of world government will be required… Even though… any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable.†In the early 1950â€s, former Communist Joseph Z. Kornfeder expressed the opinion that UNESCO was comparable to a Communist Party agitation and propaganda department. He stated that such a party apparatus â€handles the strategy and method of getting at the public mind, young and old.†Huxley would lard the agency with a motley collection of Communists and fellow travelers.

President Richard Nixon believed abortion was necessary as a form of eugenics to prevent interracial breeding

Theodore Roosevelt to Charles B. Davenport, January 3, 1913, Charles B. Davenport Papers, Department of Genetics, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.:

â€I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feebleminded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them…The emphasis should be laid on getting desirable people to breed…â€

Ted Turner makes the radical statement that, â€A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal,â€

Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood, funded by the Rockefellers) said in her proposed â€The American Baby Codeâ€, intended to become law:

â€The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.â€

**This is the woman (Margaret Sanger) whom Hillary Clinton publicly declared she looked up to, during the 2008 presidential debates.**

Here is a short list of some advocates of eugenics; Alexander Graham Bell, George Bernard Shaw H. G. Wells, Sidney Webb, William Beveridge, John Maynard Keynes, Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Emile Zola, George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, John Harvey Kellogg, Winston Churchill, Linus Pauling, Sidney Webb, Sir Francis Galton, Charles B. Davenport Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard (who wanted to create a Dept. of Peace)...

â€Out of the full spectrum of human personality, one-fourth is electing to transcend…One-fourth is ready to so choose, given the example of one other…One-fourth is resistant to election. They are unattracted by life ever evolving. One-fourth is destructive. They are born angry with God…They are defective seeds…There have always been defective seeds. In the past they were permitted to die a â€natural deathâ€â€¦we, the elders, have been patiently waiting until the very last moment before the quantum transformation, to take action to cut out this corrupted and corrupting element in the body of humanity. It is like watching a cancer grow…Now, as we approach the quantum shift from creature-human to co-creative human—the human who is an inheritor of god-like powers—the destructive one-fourth must be eliminated from the social body. We have no choice, dearly beloveds. Fortunately you, dearly beloveds, are not responsible for this act. We are. We are in charge of Godâ€s selection process for planet Earth. He selects, we destroy. We are the riders of the pale horse, Death. We come to bring death to those who are unable to know God…the riders of the pale horse are about to pass among you. Grim reapers, they will separate the wheat from the chaff. This is the most painful period in the history of humanity…â€

Alexander Haig is quoted referring to the US State Department Office of Population Affairs, which was established by Henry Kissinger in 1975. The title has since been changed to The Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs:

â€Accordingly, the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs has consistently blocked industrialization policies in the Third World, denying developing nationâ€s access to nuclear energy technology–the policies that would enable countries to sustain a growing population. According to State Department sources, and Ferguson himself, Alexander Haig is a â€firm believer†in population control.

Re:Gates has 'vision' for home nuclear power (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347896)

this was an interesting reading, but I hope you understand that you will get downmodded since you are terribly off topic

No tooltips please! (1)

nomorecwrd (1193329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347010)

There are some web pages that instantly pops up a tooltip while hovering over a link (sometimes very big, covering everything on the surroundings).

I find that extremely annoying, even nowadays using the mouse, so I guess trying to read those pages using this tech will be next to impossible.

Please get rid of it, just like the infamous blinking text

The most important use of this technology: (1)

Nailer235 (1822054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347082)

First Person Shooter games just got much, much easier. Maybe now I'll be able to k

Re:The most important use of this technology: (1)

Nailer235 (1822054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347094)

First Person Shooter games just got much, much easier. Maybe now I'll be able to k

*Maybe now I'll be able to kill people in Counter-Strike.

Re:The most important use of this technology: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35347256)

Oooh, head shot.

no this can be big for people with disability's to (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348338)

no this can be big for people with disability's to be able to use laptops and more

Re:no this can be big for people with disability's (1)

Flyerman (1728812) | more than 3 years ago | (#35349776)


squinting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35347116)

Lets hope they don't wire one eye for general scrolling and other as cursor, or we will be dealing with a huge number of quinting people (especially koreans).
Storm of lawsuits on Blizzard detected... 3, 2, 1...

Exclusionary? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35347188)

What about the fairly large portion of the population that suffers from strabismus [] ?

How well can this tech work if the eyes are not only not-aligned, but that their degree of misalignment changes from hour to hour?

Re:Exclusionary? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347750)

I'm assuming a decent algorithm could compensate for this. After all, you really only need information from one eye to track eye movement. So the user chooses which eye they want tracked, and the computer tracks that eye and ignores the other.

Re:Exclusionary? (1)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35371488)

Tobii's devices have a really quick calibration process. If you find your eye convergence changes as you fatigue, it's easy to just recalibrate once in a while to adjust.

wouldnt work (1)

tris203 (1768578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347236)

the cursor would get in the way of any porn.

although, it would stop those stupid mouse over ads, just never look at them!

OS Wars (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347604)

It would never work. The Microsoft people are developing a system for people with two eyes. Apple will only work with a cyclops. And all the *nix/ X11 variants will require three eyes.

Adds a new meaning to... (1)

SimonTS (1984074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347650)

...blink and you'll miss it!! Another thought - what happens when your missus starts trying to read the screen over your shoulder?

Re:Adds a new meaning to... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35347784)

So, "Don't Blink"

You don't want to anyway, the weeping angels will get you.

Re:Adds a new meaning to... (1)

SimonTS (1984074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348194)

Not the Angels. That was the most terrifying Doctor Who in years - if not ever. What a nasty thought. Every time you blink, the next crash of your Windows systems comes a step closer. Better learn how to wink, or sleep with one eye open.

Built it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35348062)

Maybe they'll built it?

Can we get focus-follows-eyes? (2)

psm321 (450181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348076)

I've wanted a "focus follows eyes" option for a long time. The place where I think I'm typing is usually what I'm looking at, which doesn't correspond to where my mouse is (for focus-follows-mouse), and occasionally (rarely) I'll forget to click the right place for click-to-focus

Re:Can we get focus-follows-eyes? (1)

Yold (473518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348488)

what if you hold a button to track with your eyes?

As someone with mounting RSI problems, who has tried everything short of surgery, this will be a godsend if it is available within 5 years.

Re:Can we get focus-follows-eyes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35350442)

unfortunately for the overwhelming majority of computer users, 'focus follows eyes' means focus is completely lost as the user watches their fingers while typing

Re:Can we get focus-follows-eyes? (1)

psm321 (450181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35356246)

Good point... maybe something to detect rapid eye movements to the keyboard and filter out the in-between points if such a rapid movement occurs (and just staying at the last area of the screen that was looked at before the rapid movement).

Re:Can we get focus-follows-eyes? (1)

grangerg (309284) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351524)

What I want is a "snap-to/focus-on what I'm looking at" button on the mouse. I don't want focus following my eyes by default, but I do want to have a dedicated hardware button that makes it jump to what I'm looking at.

Re:Can we get focus-follows-eyes? (1)

psm321 (450181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35356262)

Interesting. It wouldn't be very helpful for me because my use case is when I accidentally start typing thinking it's going to go where I'm looking. I can see the annoyance of focus always following eyes though... maybe it only switches when you type? Anyways, that's what options/settings are for... the really interesting part would be the technology to achieve any of these.

About damned time (1)

hobb0001 (989441) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348158)

Now, if they can only devise a less intrusive way to do subvocal recognition [] , UI's will be able to practically read our minds.

In the future (1)

Gnutte (907952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348180)

"Breaking news today: Online ads for porn sites has received an increase in clicks by 12 000% over the last year"

It's a trap!! (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35348426)

- Aw c'mon baybeh, don't be like that, you know I only have eyes for you...
- Oh, really? (opens her new laptop, pulls up her Facebook profile picture, and a pic of Christina Hendricks at an award show, displays them on the left and right sides of the monitor. sits him in front of it.) OK, now stare at my picture ONLY for one full minute.(looks at her watch.) Aaaannnd GO!

(Two minutes later...)

- (picking his clothes up off the sidwalk) That wasn't frickin' fair! Can't we talk about this?
- And you can take your damn goldfish too! (chucks the bowl off the balcony)


Startup? They have been around for 10 years! (2)

fsterman (519061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35350346)

Tobii is THE leader and defacto industry standard in eye tracking, they have offices in 4 countries. Other equipment requires that they keep their head still, with a Tobii, after a single calibration and a participant can not only move their head around, they can get out of the chair, come back, and keep on going.

Of course their research equipment goes for >$30,000. I know an HCI person who just happened to take some tracking equipment home at his last day of a bankrupt .com startup... No one will ever miss it!

Obscure uses only (1)

Misagon (1135) | more than 3 years ago | (#35351450)

I don't believe in eye tracking as a replacement for the mouse.

Using a mouse, I don't have to stare at the mouse pointer or the target. I can make quick glances at where the pointer and the target is, and then my brain can do the "computations" in the background that allow me to use my hand to move the mouse pointer to the target and do the action I want. This is called proprioception. The brain is trained to use the mouse as an extension of my arm.

what potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35355690)

this may be a great opportunity for developers to have an interface to use a computer that many bright people have already built real-world devices for language, communication, environment, home control, mobility, etc, etc. for the use of the handicapped. as a surgeon who treats neurologically impaired individuals, i welcome this announcement. i know many have used eye movements before. when i was a junior staff member in the 80's at a university, i worked with an ibm exec. who put me in contact with their group. i also had worked on some apple projects. this was long ago and far away. i have always followed these efforts. the major impediments have been cost, payment and adaptability, both from the patient's ability to use and device ability to be programmed to do the tasks at hand. congratulations and God speed
department head, neurosurgery

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