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Eye-Based Videogame Control 42

dsmith3689 writes "Researchers at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario have explored the use of an eye tracker as a control device for a handful of commercial video games. To do this, they integrated a Tobii 1750 desktop eye tracker with Quake 2, Neverwinter Nights, and a flash adaptation of Missile Command called Lunar Command. A study was performed that indicates the use of direct feedback from eye movements can drastically increase the feeling of immersion (pdf) in the virtual world."
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Eye-Based Videogame Control

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  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:33PM (#15836309) Homepage Journal
    It hurts.
  • Forget video games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    With this technology you could finally have a window manager that implements "focus follows mind".
    • Might make transcription a little difficult though.
    • I guess in that frame of mind, what will happen sooner is Ads follows Eye. Wherever you are watching the crappy Flash Animation follows you.
      Or worse, nobody is watching during the ads ... your TV tuner goes in time delay mode you show what you have missed as soon as you come back.

  • Ya know what really pisses me off. You get a link to a web site. You go there and read all this interesting product information. You look at all the pretty pictures and decide you want to buy. Then you discover there's no "Buy Now" button. There's no shopping cart. There's just a Contact tab with a form for you to submit your details. Like you've got to beg to buy their product. Dickheads.

  • My eyes have enough blood flowing through them that they sometimes jerk in harmony with each pulse. I can see how it'd be "bloody" cool to be able to control the camera angle by eyesight, but I'm pretty certain it'd be a jerky ride for people like me.
  • Hey! (Score:3, Funny)

    by obeythefist (719316) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:54PM (#15836394) Journal
    I have a lazy eye, you insensitive clods!
    • by kfg (145172) *
      You have an eye? Lucky bastard. We have to share an eye between three of us.

    • That's not being an insensitive clod...That is giving you an advantage and a specific role in any fps games - you'll be the uber camping whore!
    • Actually, you bring up a very good point. Does this device take things like lazy eye into account? Does it only track the movements of one eye or both? This would be a great tool for those who don't have appropriate use of hands or have some kind of physical damage that would make handling a mouse or trackball difficult or impossible. But could this thing compensate for lazy eye or those who only have one useful eye?
  • *twitch* (Score:2, Informative)

    by cheese-cube (910830)
    They have had technology like this for a while, although not as a method of input or control. They use special "eye-tracking" machines for hazard perception experiments with automobiles. I think using eye-tracking as an input device would be something that would be very hard to get used to. The human eye is a pretty amazing piece of hardware and I think a "machine" would have a hard time utilising it. Additionally you'd also have to have a special filter for crack addicts that have developed twitches. They
    • Re:*twitch* (Score:4, Informative)

      by ohmypolarbear (774072) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:59PM (#15836973)
      To add to this: we use eye tracking systems in my brain lab (at a major research university). It is, in fact, highly unusual for subjects to only look at one thing, or even to look at whatever they want to do when they do it. There are many extra eye movements (saccades) to other areas of a scene for planning and multitasking, even before the person is conscious of their plans. Here are two papers relating to eye tracking and games in particular:

      motion tracking and planning:
      Ripoll H. Percept Mot Skills. 1989 Apr;68(2):507-12. []

      Cavanagh P, Alvarez GA. Trends Cogn Sci. 2005 Jul;9(7):349-54. []

      Needless to say, any successful attempt at eye-tracking control for something like video games would have a lot of sophisticated programming to do in order to figure out the user's intentions. From my own personal experience, especially in FPS games, I rarely look where I'm shooting. I would like to keep my sensors (eyeballs) and effectors (hands/feet/other body parts) separate, to allow me to take in more information and perform mor actions simultaneously. It would also prevent any weird interactions if the training provided by the games affects the way hardcore gamers attempt to interact with the real world (although those would be very interesting to study).
      • I wish I had mod points so I could give you +5 Informative. That's really interesting. As you said a game would require a lot of sophisticated code in order to use eye movements as a method of control and I think this sophisticated code would just reduce game performance. Also you would have to have a specialised piece of hardware in order for it to work. Unless they can work out some ingenious algorithms or such that lets you use something like a webcam to track eye movements I really don't think its very
  • ... or a new interface to software/games to compensate for the apparent lack of accuracy and speed (note the Quake 2 demo video), at least in FPS-style games.

    Could absolutely rock if tweaked minutely for flight and other simulation games, though. :)
    • A lot of that could probably be improved with more powerful algorithms. One of the problems encountered in the Quake demo was that minor twitches threw the gun all over the place. As a result, there is a fairly simple damping (AFAIK just a threshold) in effect to make the game playable.

      An algorithm to differentiate unconscious twitches, instantaneous glances, and actual targetted gaze would probably produce a much more impressive control system. My personal feeling is that the best environments will be thos
  • ...for people that can't move. I helped someone fix their computer who had the eye tracking thing for someone that was paralyzed.
  • I wish they had done some demos on games with independent view point, such as the upcomming Armed Assault, Lock On and other flight sims. I'm really interested to see if it'll work better than TrackIR [].

    From the Quake 2 demo, it's really not giving any advantages because your moves with the gun and the body. In Armed Assaunt (or Operation Flashpoint for that matter) where environment awareness is much more important (and *gasps* you head is not attached to the gun!), being able to look around means you ha

  • ...would this technology have on a game like, say, Dead or Alive: Xtreme Volleyball?

  • He totally missed the target the first time he fired... come on really? How will this help my counter-strike? If this cannot make me a better counter-strike player I could care less... geesh....
  • by Onuma (947856)
    This might work pretty well for games like Starcraft or Warcaft, any RTS or TBS for that matter. I can see this working especially well with games where you have to have pinpoint accuracy. For example C&C, if you don't click exactly on the pixels required to highlight that unit, you can screw yourself up.

    This could also push forward a new generation of Arcade shooters. Growing up by the ocean there were always Arcades on the boardwalks, so I learned to play all sorts of games. My favorites are th
  • The one thing my Windowmaker needs is something to autofocus the window I'm currently looking at. I can't remember how many times I've drifted in thought and looked at another terminal, started typing, only to find I'm still typing in the other one :-)
  • Robotech did it first. One of the pilots created an eye tracking aiming system for the battle simulator/video game to great effect.

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