Computers in the Wink of an Eye

Devin Jones, Head of Media and Photography

Dr. Aldo Fiasal, lead researcher at the College of London, has recently created a pair of glasses that allow you to do just about anything on your computer in the blink of an eye. How? With a new system of eye-tracking technology built from around $60 worth of supplies, the development of this new technology could very well be a breakthrough for people suffering from paralyzation, limb loss, or other similar disabilities while still maintaining a reasonable price. Similar products price from well over $5,000 and are not as fluid or accurate as Fiasal’s creation.

The GT3D, as Fiasal has named it, is extremely accurate because it uses a pair of high speed video cameras mounted on the end of a pair of horn rimmed glasses. These cameras track the movements of the wearer’s eyes, moving the mouse in correlation to where the wearer is looking and uses a wink as a way to “click” on applications. Fiasal decided to use a wink rather than a blink because a wink is completely voluntary, while blinking is not. This gives the system a more sturdy foundation on which to base its clicking system on, while also making it very easy for users to operate.

The GT3D may be the gateway into hands-free computer systems, but Fiasal is skeptical. He believes that, while this certainly is a major improvement to the previously expensive models of eye-tracking technology, the computer industry might not be prepared for such a change. For example, the GT3D only allows the user to control the cursor, but not the keyboard. While many computers come with an on-screen keyboard, it is very slow and inconvenient for users. The computer industry is also gravitating more towards touch screen systems, like tablets and iPads, which would render using something like the GT3D useless. Fiasal said in his interview with CNN, “Perhaps it will bring in a new era of hands-free computers. But there is a problem in that the computer industry is moving towards touch systems with the iPad, so I’m not sure the mass-market is going to embrace eye-movement just yet. Also, I am not sure it is ready for use with complicated applications like, for example, Photoshop.” Regardless, the GT3D system is a breakthrough in hands-free computer systems.