Apple is researching regarding user gaze detection, and many are already theorizing that in the future we may be able to select options or open the App only through our gaze. In particular this technology should be able to select text boxes by simple gaze detection.
Apple: Will devices have eye detection in the future?
“Select a text entry field using Eye Gaze“. This is the patent application just filed by Apple that it’s about devices to be used both in the real world and in Apple AR. According to what we read, the application should treat both devices interchangeably.
“These techniques can be applied to conventional user interfaces on devices such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones – it reads – these are also beneficial for virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality devices and applications”.
However, there are some fundamental differences between the two detection methods. Within virtual reality, for example, it would be a pair of headphones, such as “Apple Glass”, to implement gaze detection. This function would be made possible due to some sensors positioned right in the headphones, next to the eyes. For devices intended for use in the real world, the iPhone or iPad should be able to perform gaze tracking at a greater distance.
From the patent it is not very clear whether the sensors in question perform a continuous scan to detect the user’s gaze. What is rather crystal clear is that these sensors are capable of isolating some specific regions of the eye, to determine the direction of the viewer’s gaze.
In the patent, the company has finally specified that it will be necessary to maintain prolonged eye contact to activate this function, in order to reduce the risk of inadvertently activating it.