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Eye Tracking Coming To Video Games

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the all-your-body-parts-will-be-tracked-eventually dept.

Input Devices 102

An anonymous reader writes "Over the past several years, we've had a spate of new input methods for playing video games. Instead of just pushing buttons, now we can wave body parts around, yell at the screen, or even (weakly) control things with our thoughts. Now, we're adding an eye-tracking sensor bar. It's being created by SteelSeries, but it's based on tech from a Swedish company called Tobii, who built similar tech for cars. 'Inside the device there are two cameras and an infrared light source. The infrared light reflects off your pupil and cornea, which is then captured by the two camera sensors. Throw in a healthy serving of Tobii's proprietary image processing algorithms, and a physiological 3D model of the eye, and you can work out the position of the eye and the direction of the gaze with high accuracy. Tobii doesn't seem to put an exact figure on the resolution/accuracy, merely saying that "within less than a centimeter" is possible.' Of course, the biggest question will be how well it works, but it seems like it could be a useful supplement to normal control schemes. I can see how it would be nice to simply flick your eyes to an icon to do something, or to make it easier to dig through your in-game inventory."

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yuck (1, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45860721)

I can see how it would be nice to simply flick your eyes to an icon to do something, or to make it easier to dig through your in-game inventory."

I can't see that being nice at all.

I may look at an icon, then decide not to use it, when considering my options. Or what If I want to activate an icon but need to activate it at a precise moment... I have to avoid looking at it until the right moment? That's not user friendly.

On the flipside, presumably there will be some method of preventing spurious activations, will I have to do some sort of obnoxious eye waggle every time to "confirm" yes I really do want to activate it?

All in all it sounds downright awful and useless for most scenarios. I can't really think of a scenario where it would be more useful than obnoxious.

Even a simple 'pause' when I look away from the screen would be obnoxious.

I'm not against it though, maybe it will let one handed people play more games, or some paraplegic will be able to play doom by blinking at the screen and it betters his life...

But I don't think I want this rammed down our throats as something we'll actually need to do to activate something in a game.

Re:yuck (2)

Hui Chen (3461831) | about 10 months ago | (#45860745)

we'll all have huge, overpowered eye muscles as well

Re:yuck (1)

mfh (56) | about 10 months ago | (#45860807)

Basically the eye becomes the part of the system that moves the mouse and you have buttons or voice commands for accessing areas if you want. So you move your eye over to something and click it or you quickly adjust between five things and order a command that changes how the five things interact. This is way better ergonomically than sliding a mouse or using your hand on a touchpad because no part of your body is actually pushing against a slide-surface.

Re:yuck (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45860931)

This is way better ergonomically than sliding a mouse or using your hand on a touchpad because no part of your body is actually pushing against a slide-surface.

Is it? I for one, do not want the mouse following my eye around. Have you ever played an FPS? or RTS? Do you really want the selection cursor/targeting reticule following your eyes?

I'm scanning the screen, looking at the mini map, checking the build status of units, glancing at ammo levels, ... providing cover fire in a FPS while scanning windows for activity...

I can't imagine ever wanting the 'cursor' to follow my eyes around like that. Not only would it be distracting to have some sort of eye tracking cursor flitting around the screen like a deranged idiot but it would be counter productive since we often want independent control of where we are looking and where something is happening.

e.g. I'll have the cursor positioned over an icon, but I'm looking at any enemy health meter or waiting for them to be in a certain position to time when I activate it.

Re:yuck (2)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 10 months ago | (#45861225)

I for one, do not want the mouse following my eye around. Have you ever played an FPS? or RTS? Do you really want the selection cursor/targeting reticule following your eyes?

Why would you need a cursor icon following your eyes? The cursor is there to provide a visual feedback for your hand movements. If the cursor was your eye, the icon is redundant.

The only reason you would need a visible cursor icon in a eye-tracking system is if the eye-tracking is crappy or laggy, and you need to give the user a way of seeing when it has arrived. In which case, few people who aren't paralysed would really want to use such a system, and certainly not gamers.

Re:yuck (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45864099)

If the cursor was your eye, the icon is redundant.

Even if it was perfect you'd need the feedback to know where you are looking. You line up a shot, and you are checking your health meter by the time you register a click, or already scanning for the next target.

Easily solved. (2)

RubberChainsaw (669667) | about 10 months ago | (#45862505)

Standard mouse control remains. Some alternate keypress is used for "interact with what I am looking at."

Re:Easily solved. (1)

lxs (131946) | about 10 months ago | (#45863893)

Left wink for select, double blink for execute and right wink for a context menu.
I can't wait to try it out in a public place.

Re:yuck (1)

mfh (56) | about 10 months ago | (#45863141)

You're making the mistake of assuming technology will advance within the confines of our current designs only and you're ignoring the fact that whenever technology advances it often crashes through the confines of walls assigned to try and keep it the way a select few want it to be. Mouse cursor translucency could fix the problem or a simple cross-hair. Another possible fix is that there would be multiple cursors that would be manipulated in polygonal patterns. This polygon method is probably the best application because it would enable at minimal a third dimensional approach to object manipulation. The result? You could quickly mold the screen objects to suit your own requirements just by rapid eye movement. And a side effect of REM is that we might require less sleep using a setup like this.

Re:yuck (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45864115)

You're making the mistake of assuming technology will advance within the confines of our current designs only

I'm taking the statement "eye tracking coming to video games" at face value. Because that is how I see it being implemented in the near term.

you're ignoring the fact that whenever technology advances it often crashes through the confines of walls assigned to try and keep it the way a select few want it to be

I'm not ignoring that. That's something else entirely. "Novel user interfaces for eye tracking being looked at in the lab" would describe that. Anything "coming to video games" now isn't going to be some futuristic implementation.

We might see some proof of concept eye-tracking mechanics based games along the lines of what the Wii did with its motion controller, and that's fine. But the headline implies (to me at least) that the next round of FPS sequels could have eye tracking... and that will be unmitigated SUCK.

Re:yuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45864479)

And a side effect of REM is that we might require less sleep using a setup like this.

Are you fucking nuts? REM is a side effect of one of our sleep states, we don't need sleep because our eyes didn't move enough when we we awake.

Re:yuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45866395)

You must be a little retarded. Eye tracking is obviously not intended as a direct replacement for the mouse, just as the touchscreen will never be. It's a seperate input mode that can be used where it makes sense, and not used where it doesn't.

Re:yuck (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about 10 months ago | (#45861135)

Basically the eye becomes the part of the system that moves the mouse

This would be the absolute worst possible way to use the technology for the reasons others have stated. Keep in mind that this thing reported has accuracy in the centimeter range, considering that I routinely click buttons on my 22 inch screen that are millimeters in physical size, this would work out terribly as a mouse replacement.

Where it would be helpful is as an augmentation to provide additional data (something like tooltips being the most obvious and simplistic form) when the users gaze lingers over something. Another great use for it would be to use it to change window focus on your desktop. Also as a fun tool for the DIY/hacker community. There are probably a ton of non-computer related uses for it that people haven't even thought of yet. I'd love to take video of myself gaming (or even driving) and integrate it with eye tracking to see where I spend most of my time looking to find out if there's anything I can do to optimize it.

Re:yuck (1)

Jamu (852752) | about 10 months ago | (#45860903)

I agree. Tooltips would be the limit of what I'd want to activate with my eyes.

Re:yuck (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45861999)

I agree. Tooltips would be the limit of what I'd want to activate with my eyes.

I'm sure you'll change your mind once they find a way to integrate this with porn ;-)

Re:yuck (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#45860905)

So don't make your eye the button/trigger, just the cursor/reticle.

Re:yuck (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45860989)

So don't make your eye the button/trigger, just the cursor/reticle.

Your eyes are scanning the whole screen, checks ammo, health. It would be distracting to have the reticule due that.

Imagine you are sighted on a window, you glance down at your health... the whole screen moves as your 'avatar' looks at his feet... then madly scrambles back up to the window.

Or ... you are sighted on one window, but scan other areas for enemies... your reticule bounces around like an idiot.

Thanks but no thanks.

Re:yuck (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#45861233)

That's how it works in real life, though. You can't aim an actual gun if you're checking the bandage on your arm. FPS's are always trying to get more and more realism - this is a step towards that. Sorry if it's not your thing, but IMO it's awesome.

Re:yuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862499)

No, that's not at all how real life works. I'm not sure what kind of system you use, or what sort of alien biology you have to support it, but I hold guns with my hands, not my eyes.

Re:yuck (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 10 months ago | (#45862955)

"Hold" and "aim" are quite different concepts.

Re:yuck (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 10 months ago | (#45861023)

Imho the real advantage of eye-tracking is in wearable computing. If you track the eye quickly and precisely enough it becomes much easier to do all kinds of nifty mediated reality tricks.

Re:yuck (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 10 months ago | (#45861109)

I may look at an icon, then decide not to use it, when considering my options. Or what If I want to activate an icon but need to activate it at a precise moment... I have to avoid looking at it until the right moment? That's not user friendly.

A wink or a blink would serve as a decent substitute for a right/left or middle click.

I myself am ambivalent in seeing it applied to games, but if doing so serves to inject a little capital into technology that could help so many people with various disabilities it seems like a win-win.

Re:yuck (1)

Wolfrider (856) | about 9 months ago | (#45877137)

--Personally, I think tapping your left/right big toe to act as a mouse click would be more useful (and quicker) then winking or blinking a certain way. Plus, I'm one of those people who gets a damn eyelash caught in my eye on a semi-frequent basis, causing me to blink furiously and my eye(s) to tear up. Not to mention allergies...

Re:yuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862447)

I agree, using your eyes as a pointer sounds horrible, but I can think of a few interesting uses that may turn out good. Such as making HUD elements stand out more/show more information when you're actually focused on them, adjusting DoF (I hate it in games, but at least if it has to be there, it can be done right), or horror game scares (things in your periphery that disappear when you try to look at them for example)

Re:yuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862625)

Agreed. It would be awful. Much like touch screen laptops with tablet OSes.

Re:yuck (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 10 months ago | (#45864459)

I'm not against it though, maybe it will let one handed people play more games, or some paraplegic will be able to play doom by blinking at the screen and it betters his life...

Having this technology at the consumer level would be huge for affordable adaptive technology. Games/shmames (though why not, people without limbs should be able to enjoy entertainment too).

Most adaptive equipment is horrifically expensive. The more accessible consumer-level stuff I can get to help my son, the better.

Re:yuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45864739)

How about a flight sim where looking at the target aims your autocannons?
It can be awesome too.

advertising effectiveness (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 10 months ago | (#45860723)

I remember watching a show 20 years ago about gauging the accuracy of advertising by using eye tracking. They took people off the street into a special truck (it was bulky equipment), and they could very precisely see how the men's gazes never quite reached the lingerie brand name in the ad's corner.

There is no way anyone would ever want to use an updated version to track your ad viewing while browsing. Nope. Not gonna happen. Totally not running to the patent office (if Samsung doesn't have that one yet, someone needs to be fired).

Re:advertising effectiveness (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 10 months ago | (#45860771)

[...] they could very precisely see how the men's gazes never quite reached the lingerie brand name in the ad's corner.

Not to mention how the gaze patterns were profoundly different for 5-10% of the men, who reliably tracked to male backsides instead of female backsides or breasts. We're getting closer to recognizing Nothing Wrong With That as a society, but there are still a lot of men who'd prefer not to be outed by their sidebar ads.

Re:advertising effectiveness (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45860831)

And some of us will just be stuck on the terrible kerning the ad uses on its font, either way.

Re:advertising effectiveness (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 10 months ago | (#45861083)

And some of us will just be stuck on the terrible kerning the ad uses on its font, either way.

Dear Lord, it's all in Comic Sans!!!!

MY EYES! AIIIIIEEEE!!!!

Re: advertising effectiveness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862809)

in 2% of cases, the participants simply grimmaced and slammed their eyelids shut. there was a strong correlation between this metric and the use of of the Comic Sans and Papyrus fonts.

Re: advertising effectiveness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45864223)

Correlation != causation.

You nerds and your font snobbery! Comic Sans is the bestest font ever.

Not until I see rock-solid containment of the data (3, Insightful)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 10 months ago | (#45860725)

Eye-tracking is a big honking window into the subject's subconscious mind. I will be extremely reticent about releasing that data into an information system.

It's creepy enough seeing the amount Google knows about me already just from searches and cookies. I sure as hell don't want advertisers to get fine-grained feedback about which ads attract my attention, never mind cranking up the distracting peripheral-vision movement to force my gaze.

And don't even get me started on the evil tricks you can play by keeping things just outside the user's central vision, no matter how hard you try to look directly at them...

Context (1)

mfh (56) | about 10 months ago | (#45860827)

Context is always missing from computer tracking. Without context there is always a shadow of a doubt.

Re:Context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862063)

Context is always missing from computer tracking. Without context there is always a shadow of a doubt.

No doubt about this: when the game makers put an ad into the game they will make it move so it follows your eyes.

Re:Not until I see rock-solid containment of the d (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862053)

Wait until Facebook adds this to their already overburdened user interface. Ugh.

"Facebook, still free to use, but now we require you to view it through our new FaceEyes® anti ad-avoidance technology."

Re:Not until I see rock-solid containment of the d (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 10 months ago | (#45862647)

Eye-tracking is a big honking window into the subject's subconscious mind. I will be extremely reticent about releasing that data into an information system.

It's creepy enough seeing the amount Google knows about me already just from searches and cookies. I sure as hell don't want advertisers to get fine-grained feedback about which ads attract my attention...

And the NSA wonders why I wear sunglasses indoors at night while using my computer these days... :)

Re:Not until I see rock-solid containment of the d (1)

Udom (978789) | about 10 months ago | (#45865875)

We'll be seeing a lot more of this, marketed as a cool new feature. Everyone makes about 250,000 saccades per day and the vast majority are unconsciously generated. By logging saccade targets one can easily map a person's interests, tastes, fears, sexual orientation, etc. Instead of page views ad companies will be selling saccade targets. That's bad enough, but the NSA will be collecting information about you that you don't even know yourself. With enough effort it would be possible to generate user profiles and identify users soley by their saccade fingerprints.

Re:Not until I see rock-solid containment of the d (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45866063)

Just think. Now they'll really know if you read the full EULA!

Gaze-specific focal plane and depth of field? (3, Insightful)

spankey51 (804888) | about 10 months ago | (#45860775)

It would be cool to use the eyetracker to determine what objects the player is looking at. Measure distance from the player-camera to the object being looked at and adjust the focal dept of the camera in real-time to that constantly changing distance. The result would be a 2D projection which achieves the illusion of continuously variable focal plane based on where you look and what you look at. Combine THAT with stereoscopic equipment like Oculus-rift and you have one hell of a VR setup.

Re:Gaze-specific focal plane and depth of field? (1)

cskrat (921721) | about 10 months ago | (#45861011)

As someone who has learned to consciously adjust eye focus due to severe astigmatism, I second that focal depth is the big missing piece in 3D technology.

However, I'm not sure if that form of artificial focal depth will enhance the illusion or create more potent migraine material for someone in my position.

Re:Gaze-specific focal plane and depth of field? (2)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 10 months ago | (#45862365)

And while you're at it, use variable-resolution rendering for different segments of the image. If the computer knows your fovea is pointed at a specific part of the screen, then why render everything else in full-res for a single-player game? It seems like that would be a cool performance optimization.

Almost there.... (4, Interesting)

B5_geek (638928) | about 10 months ago | (#45860789)

I don't care about games, but I would love it when they can adapt this technology to give X magic focus powers.

I already use 'Focus follows mouse' on fluxbox, but too often I am looking at a differnt terminal window when I start typing away, and I had forgotten to move the mouse.

[Paranoid Mode] imagine how much more advertising money Google could make if they tracked WHERE you were looking. [/mode]

Re:Almost there.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45861063)

I don't care about games, but I would love it when they can adapt this technology to give X magic focus powers.

I already use 'Focus follows mouse' on fluxbox, but too often I am looking at a differnt terminal window when I start typing away, and I had forgotten to move the mouse.

wish: focus follows eyes [kde.org] - note the year this was submitted ...

Re:Almost there.... (1)

Dwedit (232252) | about 9 months ago | (#45876485)

Sometimes, you need to look at one thing and type into another, and that would just get in the way.

Lara Croft (4, Funny)

tiberus (258517) | about 10 months ago | (#45860809)

So, in short, Tomb Raider X will know exactly how much time us perv gamers spend staring at her um muscles.

Re:Lara Croft (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45860965)

You mean they will tailor the amount of, um, "muscle wiggling" to what we want? Sounds like finally a useful application of eye-tracking!

Hey, here is a business-idea: Make a Google Glass App that does just this type of tracking for the female wearer. Then she can get an immediate overlay for "creep", "one-night-stand material", and "boring possible husband"... ;-)

Re:Lara Croft (1)

AmazingRuss (555076) | about 10 months ago | (#45862183)

New game mechanic: The more focused the stare, the larger the 'muscles' get!

Re:Lara Croft (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 10 months ago | (#45862373)

Allow it to realistically throw off her mass and center of balance and you could have one doozy of a challenging game.

Does this already exist in military? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 10 months ago | (#45860823)

I know that there's this [wikipedia.org] , but not sure if it's the same technology. Not that I care. But the military has had this in operation for some time now. ...Like everything else, I guess.

Pan and tilt the camera! (2)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about 10 months ago | (#45860839)

More usefully, tracking eye movement could be used to control the camera. Tilting and panning to bring anything the user concentrates on to the centre of screen would be useful in a lot of games, and would get around the poor camera placement algorithms we've all been annoyed by.

It would have not to be too sensitive - the user glancing at a status display or an incoming message should not move the camera - but I could imagine this being really useful.

Re:Pan and tilt the camera! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45863825)

I still want the illusion of looking through a window, as in the Johnny Lee wiimote demo.

The motivation for this... (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 10 months ago | (#45860863)

game pads are crap compared to the keyboard and mouse.

All these new interfaces are just means by which an inferior input system can compete.

Its frustrating for game devs to be limited by the gamepad.

Strategy games are totally impossible. FPS games are awkward. Even RPGs need to be simplified and MMOs which are already pretty dumbed down have to be dumbed down farther.

So here is my suggestion for how to improve the situation.

Allow console users to plug in a keyboard and mouse. By all means, streamline it a bit if you must. But that in and of itself would resolve most of the problems.

Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45860939)

The best games that I have played required a d-pad and no more than 8 buttons (most often no more than four). That includes several RPGs.

Maybe gamepads are crap. Maybe games built by devs who have poor UI design fundamentals and discipline are crap without keyboards.

Re:The motivation for this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45861221)

gamepads are superior to keyboard and mouse while playing lounging on your couch, nobody has invented a decent lap desk yet

lounging on your couch watching a big tv 10 feet away with a whole-room 5-7.1 sound system is a superior gameplay position to sitting at a desk

desks are for working

but from a couch the wiimote offers most of the precision of a mouse, metroid prime has a perfectly immersive control scheme

Re:The motivation for this... (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#45861623)

I guess you still haven't gotten around to replacing the shitty speakers your computer came with by a decent surround sound set yet. My computer speakers are the surround sound system for my living room. The center channel speaker just happens to sit under the monitor.

And I'd far rather sit on my $400 multi-way-adjustible office chair than on an immobile couch with no back support.

Re:The motivation for this... (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 10 months ago | (#45862389)

I have to disagree - a wiimote is superior to a gamepad, but it doesn't begin to compare to a mouse.

Re:The motivation for this... (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about 10 months ago | (#45861489)

Depends, games like Risk of Rain are much better off played with a gamepad, but your mileage may vary. You only list a minimal number of genres that have been traditionally mouse-driven, though.
But as much as I like playing with pad (where convenient: fighting games like Skullgirls, sidescroller action games like Risk of Rain or Rogue Legacy, console emulation, etc), I wouldn't play, say... Doom, with one.

As for RPGs, depends. Skyrim with a pad is a bit of a pain, but there used to be games like Legend of Mana (say what you want about JRPGs, but that one sure isn't Final Fantasy crap, for sure) that played really well with a pad (by virtue of being a half-brawler).

Strategy games, mouse all the way, although the only example of pad-designed strategy game is Herzog Zwei for the megadrive/genesis, where your "hero" unit, a transforming robot, carried units from the base to wherever you needed them to be, or engaged in pewpew combat. (That game is considered the precursor to stuff like Dune that shaped modern strategy games, so don't look down on it for being console, Japanese and old. Just saying.)

Since nowadays console/PC gaming is kind of entering a singularity, and I believe all modern consoles have some form of keyboard add-on, I don't think you should worry much about this. It'll sort itself out eventually, I think the keyboard is going to win and the pad will become accessory for old-school genres only. Alas.
Unless the steam pad turns out to be some sort of miraculous revolution, but I need to see it happen first.

Re:The motivation for this... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 10 months ago | (#45862355)

It isn't a singularity at all.

Microsoft keeps pulling PC devs into the console. And what is the result? You get a dumbed down PC game with crappy controls. Why?

As to lap desks and couches... I'd explore air mice before I used a dpad for a lot of games.

Microsoft experimented with letting PC gamers play against xbox gamers with Halo 1. Guess what the result was?... The Xbox gamers were slaughtered. No contest.

Why? The controls are awkward for FPS games. Useless for strategy. And don't have enough buttons for complex RPGs, MMOs, or even the better simulators which can have upwards of 50 mapped buttons. And yes, you use them all.

In the console you have to suffer through inventory wheels and other annoying gimmicks put into the game to compensate for the fact that you have less then ten buttons total.

Look. For traditional console games the gamepad is fine. But for these hybrid games where they basically release a PC game on the console... they're crap controls.

Re:The motivation for this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45863885)

An integrated optical mouse and keyboard is the best there is.

It is not on the market yet.

It maybe a kickerstarter project.

Patent 7903088 B2

The inventor.

inputexpert.com

Re: The motivation for this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45864133)

The motivation is to slowly make people accept the technology and then place it into televisions. Ads must be watched with sound on or the small treat of a programmer will not proceed!

Samsung already has the eye tracking in their TVs. With a network access return channel they will learn what you watch and where. So expect ads which are harder to ignore.

Goddamn lab rats.

Re:The motivation for this... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#45864231)

The problem is you need a flat, stable surface for a keyboard and mouse, i.e. a table or desk. Games consoles are for the living room/bedroom, most people play them sitting on the sofa or on the floor.

Allowing keyboard/mouse control in a single player game is okay I suppose, but most games have an online element now. It's bad enough with cheat devices (you can modify an XBOX pad to have autofire or even macros for performing complex combos in fighting games) and no-one wants a ground of people with a massive advantage due to their controllers. The manufacturers generally only allow gamepads and joysticks for that reason.

Re:The motivation for this... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 10 months ago | (#45864281)

Well they're inferior. They provide an inferior degree of control. That is not an opinion but an experimentally proven empirical fact.

They are bad for anything but the most rudimentary of games. And more frustrating their influence on the PC community is to impose those design limitations on PC gaming to allow for easy porting between platforms. This means PC games are frequently simplified to be made compatible with this inferior system.

Ultimately this is what annoys me. I am a PC gamer. I don't really care how bad or good the console controls are since I am not a primary user. That said, they influence the development houses that also make my games. Worse, microsoft keeps pouching PC devs to make console games. Yes, its all consensual... no one is putting a gun against their head. Just showing up with briefcases full of cash.

Here is all I need to be happy with the garbage controls on consoles... Stop pouching PC devs to make garbage games.

OR

Upgrade the controls on the console so the PC ports don't need to be turned into playschool parodies of themselves.

I don't really care what else happens. Either leave the devs alone that make the games I care about... The console can drowned in JRPGs for all I care. Or fix the f'ing controllers so they aren't such a pathetic mess.

I don't know who "you" are, but ... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 10 months ago | (#45860927)

... "I" am doing no such nonsense. Looks more like a blatant slashvertisement for yet another worse-than-useless gadget than anything useful.

Eyes don't stand still... (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 10 months ago | (#45861007)

The brain rarely lets the eyes stand still. Eyes are actually quite poor resolution anywhere except for the very centre of their visual space. The eyes will dart around often more than 3 times a second when you're not paying attention to anything specific and the brain puts the pictures together to build an image of what the surrounding environment looks like. The bigger the screen the worse the movement.

The idea of using the eyes focus point for selection criteria is borderline absurd. You open a screen and the first thing your eye does is dart around attempting to look at everything. It continues this process even as you click on something. Every case of sight based selection I've seen has required either immense concentration and a long time to confirm, or it involved using a display so small that you can't meaningfully discern what is being looked at (think Google Glass style HUDs).

Why do I want this again?

Re:Eyes don't stand still... (1)

DocHoncho (1198543) | about 10 months ago | (#45861191)

The brain rarely lets the eyes stand still. Eyes are actually quite poor resolution anywhere except for the very centre of their visual space. The eyes will dart around often more than 3 times a second when you're not paying attention to anything specific and the brain puts the pictures together to build an image of what the surrounding environment looks like. The bigger the screen the worse the movement.

That's the first thing I thought of. Perhaps thats where the "... proprietary image processing algorithms, and ... physiological 3D model of the eye..." comes in. This definately doesn't seem like the kind of thing that could be used for the mouse cursor, but rather to determine which part of the screen is being looked at, generally.

Why do I want this again?

You don't. But I'm sure they'll come up with some spurious use or another just to get at all that juicy eye tracking data for ad targeting data or what ever other nefarious purposes they have in mind.

Re: Eyes don't stand still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862881)

there's a possible compromise.

instead of tracking eye motion to high accuracy, instead measure the 3D vector at which the eyeballs are in relation to the head, and screen.

eg, at beginning of gameplay, tell the user to look straight at the crosshair on the screen and wait. The game measures the distance between the eyeballs, and the vector intersection of the gaze. it uses this as a reference to determine if the user tilts thier head, or looks to the side. After that point, you only zoom-focus on gaze if the gaze is persistently held (such as for a zoom through scope option, which would cull the periphery image anyway), and adjust the camera in a coarse fashion based on head tilting. for best quality, also track location of nose, and distance from each eye to the tip of nose. that would let you permit the FoV to move in relation to the user's head, allowing the TV to function as if it were a window (like on your house), instead of a flat display.

tracking both eyes will be a problem (2)

ozduo (2043408) | about 10 months ago | (#45861059)

especially gamers who looked like this. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001204/ [imdb.com]

Re:tracking both eyes will be a problem (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 10 months ago | (#45861903)

no sense of humor... i give it a +2 funny

Already using head tracking... (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 10 months ago | (#45861069)

Not 30 minutes ago I finished building a point model (sort of like this one [gibthis.com] ), which I'll use for head tracking in combat flight sims. I tried using face tracking, but it wasn't reliable enough.

IMHO, head tracking is better than eye tracking. For head tracking, a multiplier is configured so that e.g. turning your head 20 degrees turns the game POV all the way around. Once you're used to holding a controller with your face, it's pretty easy / natural to use. On the other hand, it takes a lot of effort to keep your eyeballs from constantly saccading around the room.

This is not new technology. (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 10 months ago | (#45861071)

Tobii has been using it in adaptive communications devices for year. My late wife suffered from ALS, and she used a Tobii C17 with Ceye for speech, since she was no longer able to talk.

Re:This is not new technology. (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#45862247)

It may not be new technology, but I'lll bet it's a new price point for the technology.

Assistive device manufacturers are not exactly known for being generous to those who need their tools.

Adaptive quality (2)

jfisherwa (323744) | about 10 months ago | (#45861079)

You could increase polygon tessellation at an area of focus and remove detail from the peripheral. It would be very useful for triple 120Hz 4K 3D. ;)

Re:Adaptive quality (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 10 months ago | (#45862667)

You could increase polygon tessellation at an area of focus and remove detail from the peripheral. It would be very useful for triple 120Hz 4K 3D. ;)

I've long imagined that was the performance trick God uses on it's VR system.

Re:Adaptive quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45864323)

That's silly. The bandwidth/latency you would need to perform such a feat is not possible at the moment, it's much easier to tesselate everything. Unless the eye tracking is integrated with the hardware renderer, but I don't see how GPUs stuck a few mm from your face is a good idea (cue lawsuits about eyes being fried).

Better for work than for play (1)

pluther (647209) | about 10 months ago | (#45861143)

I don't think I'd want this for most video games, for many of the reasons people have already been listing.

But man, would it ever be useful for real work. Simple things, like making whatever windown I'm focusing on become active.

A good eye-tracking system could replace a mouse, with maybe a pair of buttons right below the space bar on the keyboard or something.

I would think blink or wink tracking would be more annoying than useful, though...

can I have it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45861157)

I want to be able to look at the terminal prompt I'm interested in, type, and have it show up there without ever touching the mouse or the tab key.

Integrate it inside an Oculus Rift (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 10 months ago | (#45861257)

For those asking "what is this good for?" or complaining "why would I want this?", immersive virtual reality is in desperate need of new input methods. A convincing, immersive 3D world is wildly incompatible with our favorite pointing device, the venerable mouse. And "air mouse" is both obnoxiously inaccurate and obnoxiously fatiguing to use.

Gaze tracking integrated inside a VR head mounted display helps address the new user interface problems Rift users are already suffering. A 2D mouse cursor in your 3D world is just no help at all, but there are a great many abstractions that games just have to have (because no one wants the Inventory Box Interface Device plugged into their PC) and those abstractions depend rather heavily on traditional desktop user interface elements overlayed on top of the 3D world, represented as buttons and icons in windows. Trying to use such interfaces inside an HMD is difficult enough that alternatives are desirable. Gaze tracking could be that alternative. It's guaranteed to be less fatiguing than air mouse. If it's more accurate than air mouse, it could be very useful.

Re:Integrate it inside an Oculus Rift (1)

Kevin Fishburne (1296859) | about 10 months ago | (#45862843)

With respect to the Oculus Rift, the biggest feature this could be used for is controlling depth of field. The game would calculate the point in 3D space your eyes are focused on and allow everything outside that area to become progressively less-focused.

Re:Integrate it inside an Oculus Rift (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 9 months ago | (#45872397)

Very good point. It would go a long way towards preventing motion sickness by helping the virtual world look more correct to the human brain, which is peculiarly sensitive to the oddest cues, depth of field among them.

Hope this gets hacked for usability studies (1)

jddj (1085169) | about 10 months ago | (#45861325)

Eye tracking in the usability world has been in the 4- and 5-figure range for a while. At least one cheap ($1200) option required that you wear heavyish headgear.

Tobii makes some of this usability eyetracking equipment, and it's my hope that this device will be adapted to work with the popular Morae usability recording software.

Eyetracking will be part of nearly everyone's usability toolkit, vs. an expensive luxury, if so.

It might hold possibilities for eyetracking studies on mobile software as well.

What could possibly go wrong? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45861365)

Yes, my eyes followed the woman in the red dress, so what?

But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45861721)

What about when I am checking FaceBook with my Google Glass? How will the eyetracker know which display I am concentrating on?

Better Graphics Where You Look (1)

Dr_Nipples (3484511) | about 10 months ago | (#45861787)

This can be used for simply concentrating the graphics resources in the area that the eyes are focused. Microsoft Research was showing something like this off at last years SIGGRAPH conference. They are claiming an acceleration factor of 5-6 when using the eye tracking.

Their paper can be found here: http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?id=176610 [microsoft.com]

Having stood by and watched while someone was using the system, it was interesting to see their eye dart around the screen and the little high-quality circle that (presumably) was synchronized with the movements.

Screw games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45861983)

I want a "focus-follows-gaze" option for the X Window System. When I start typing I almost always want the input to be directed to the window I'm looking at.

Forget control. Let's optimize video processing (1)

MessyBlob (1191033) | about 10 months ago | (#45862079)

Reduce those megawatts of power being sucked up by video cards: do high-resolution rendering only on the bit being looked at. Of course, it won't work that way; we'll use the same power to render better graphics.

Re:Forget control. Let's optimize video processing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862887)

Also, anyone besides you who is watching your screen will mostly just see low-res blobs.

  Better than a privacy screen for your laptop!

Won't be nice with MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45862155)

Know how some games have timers on the grinding stuff like death penalties, etc, that only tick down while the game's your active window?

Now imagine they don't even let you look away either.

Pointless (1)

nensondubois (3158339) | about 10 months ago | (#45862369)

Dedicated game controllers all the way. None of this creepy clutter shit.

Eye Control! (1)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 10 months ago | (#45863455)

Because soon the children will be too fat and lazy for joysticks and buttons.

Old Tech (1)

ketomax (2859503) | about 10 months ago | (#45863501)

Inside the device there are two cameras and an infrared light source. Throw in a healthy serving of Tobii's proprietary image processing algorithms, and a physiological 3D model of the eye, and you can work out the position of the eye and the direction of the gaze with high accuracy.

Throw a healthy dosage of high intensity laser and get an even higher accuracy.

Already proven useless: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45863587)

Hasn't this tech already proven useless for general usage due to eyestrain and such from using your eyes to communicate far more? Sure it'd be useful for those who lack other options like Steven Hawkings.

Re:Already proven useless: (1)

PsyMan (2702529) | about 10 months ago | (#45864063)

Waiting for someone to correct that spelling........in 3...2...1

Eye-tracking Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45863661)

> I can see how it would be nice

Pphft... You think that game makers are going to use this technology to be nice?
The game can use this to great advantage of the player, by specifically creating danger that originates where the player is not looking.

Creative players may be able to trick the game by looking off to the left... at a mirror (or set of mirrors, so things are reversed), so the game thinks the player is looking in one spot when really the player is looking at another.
I also wonder how else the hardware may be fooled, e.g. wearing a pair of glasses with some fake eyes (perhaps just a cartoon drawing; maybe something more elaborate if the hardware is better).

For other players, I hate to think about how gamers may start to damage eye sight, by doing weird things with their eyes in order to (probably successfully) try to trick a game into thinking that they are looking in one spot, when they are really concentrating/looking in another spot.

This has huge usages in HDR. (1)

Jartan (219704) | about 10 months ago | (#45865217)

The magic bullet for eye tracking is using it for adaptive HDR. Monitors for good reason can't show bright lights. This makes it difficult to fit all the luminance information on the screen at once.

By tracking the eye we can adjust luminance information locally. This can have a huge impact on image quality.

Will it work if I wear glasses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45866675)

Most glass (and possibly plastic lenses for glasses) bounce IR. So if I wear glasses, will this technology actually work, and be accurate?

many such demos at past two siggraphs (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 9 months ago | (#45879709)

once someone figures out a cost-effective sensor, clever people will figure our new ways of using it
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