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Gaze Detector Lets You Hear With Your Eyes 137

tinkertim writes "Engadget is reporting that Manabe Hiroyuki has developed a personal 'being' assistant, the wearable headphone gaze detector. The device apparently takes notice of what you look at (and hear) and makes note of the more important events in your life that it records. From the article '[the device] is slightly less elegant than the traditional neural implant, with this system you could not only record the goings on of your days and "bookmark" important events, but also train the cameras to feed you information about your surroundings based on QR codes or possibly eventually object recognition; think of it as augmented aural reality triggered by giving a passing glance.'"
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Gaze Detector Lets You Hear With Your Eyes

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:29AM (#15574778)
    Why do I get the feeling that the main events this will record are hot girls passing by?
    • by kjorn ( 687709 )

      I've often wanted one of these. I surf and kitesurf with my buddies, ever now and then I see one of them pull of a sick trick that I'd like to record and show people.

      • Then buy a camera and film it.

        Better than looking like a Cybermans geeky brother

        • by kjorn ( 687709 )

          Hm, try surfing and holding a camera. Paddling out would be hard and getting up would be impossible.

          When kitesurfing you need to hold onto the bar with both hands. Helmet cameras don't follow your eyes and they shake too much for a decient picture.

          I guees you don't do sports much :-)

          • Actually, I do Jujitsu. Try holding a camera when someone is dropping you on your head. What I meant to suggest was someone NOT ACTUALLY PARTICIPATING IN THE SPORT film it.

            I don't think you'ld be able to do anything too active with that contraption on your head anyway. Plus I'd bet it isn't waterproof


              But this technology already exists. I was wishing for something better that would solve a problem I have. This conversation is wacked out, we're arguing about something I wish I had.

              • If you RTFA, you'd see that it's nothing like what you seem to think it is. Even in theory, you'd have to be looking at your buddy, but it isn't a recorder, it's more like bookmarks for your life.
          • Is it true? The legend that is the jock-geek is in our presence? I don't believe my .. ears...
        • Better than looking like a Cybermans geeky brother

          Or a young Ender Wiggin?
    • by FirienFirien ( 857374 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:04AM (#15574859) Homepage
      This is a bad thing?
    • Gee.. I don't know. Maybe because that is what is important?
    • Ah, but do bear in mind that the ideal number of videos of hot girls passing by is certainly asympotic and unbounded.
  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:31AM (#15574782)
    When the company that makes the software for this bundles spyware with it, how much are they going to make letting advertisers (and the occasional law enforcement agency) know what you've been looking at?
    • Like advertisers don't already know where you're looking. That's why they have girls with ample cleavage holding their product.
      • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:08AM (#15574869)

        Yeah, but now they get to work out your type and give you a heads up display to modify billboards appropriately. Just be careful to keep guys out of your field of vision...

        Oh, and if you look at too many 17-year-old girls they tell the police.

        • 17? what is the age of consent in the US? As in the UK it's 16 so looking at 17 year olds really isn't anything special
          • The age of consent varies state by state (I'd find a link but god knows what the company filter would think I was looking for). Looking isn't the problem but "relations" with someone under 17 are considered statutory rape, or corruption of a minor.

          • In the U.S. it varies state to state, from as low as 15 (14 under very specific circumstances) to as high as 18.

            The hilarious part [ageofconsent.com]? If you happen to live in a '16' state (say Oklahoma), fly to Britain (16) or Spain (14), or any other country with a lower age of consent than 18, and have consensual sex with someone at the legal low end in that country, then pass back into the U.S. and have a layover in an '18' state (Viginia), if the authorities are watching you or get wind of it, you can be held and sen
            • That only applies if you left one country with the specific intent of having sex in another country where the age of consent is lower. If you are on vacation/holiday and you hook up with someone it is much different legally than if you were going somewhere else explicitly for sex. State authorities in the US only have jurisdiction in their own states (unless you are transporting a minor across state/country lines for the purpose of sex), and UK police have jurisdiction in the UK, not Spain. Did you happen t

              • Not the most "official" site, but still the one with the most information collected in one spot. Feel free to research any place you plan to visit on your own. I think you will find the website I cited extremely accurate.

                Now, if you want to discuss authoritative sources and actually doing your research before you open your stupid yap, try [PDF Alert]this [loc.gov]. Here, I'll make it easy for your limited abilities and highlight the parts that show you a fool:


                (a) IN G

        • Nah! build-in taser: You look at another vendors product, device gives you a mild 20KV "correction".
    • I don't want to sound like the party-line OSS fanboy here, but that seems like a perfect argument for why you shouldn't allow code that you haven't audited yourself, or had audited by a trusted entity, in any sort of biomedical or communications application.

      I certainly wouldn't want to have some sort of device either implanted in me, or worn on my person all the time and collecting a lot of personal information, which might be phoning home to its masters without my knowledge.

      Especially when you get into the
  • by 99luftballon ( 838486 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:32AM (#15574785)
    If this were a lot smaller it might be a useful aid, particularly for those with memory problems. But we use something similar for web page design, where it's very useful indeed. By monitoring where the eyes move you can get a very good read on how people use a site and design accordingly.
    • Well, _thats_ already be done by people who care.

      I know of studies back in the last century that showed 2D maps of eye-dwelling time on typical page layouts. Those are just made with the typical display-mounted eye-trackers. (They showed for example that the "logo top left" style is so common people search for something there even if the particular page didnt show anything there...
  • Scary... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Asakku ( 980112 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:34AM (#15574787)
    wow this sounds kinda scary in some ways.. what if you look at the goatse guy or tubgirl?!? I don't want to hear THAT!!
  • ...so we can be like Dare Devil.
  • by blindd0t ( 855876 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:39AM (#15574806)
    Does it have a speaker that yells, "shwing!" every time you see an awesome pair of breasts?
  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:44AM (#15574819)
    The "Far Side" cartoon where the guy is wearing the Dog Translation Helmet, and all the dogs are saying "Hey!" "Hey!" "Hey!".
  • Hoax? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordSnooty ( 853791 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:46AM (#15574827)
    To me it looks like a bloke wearing headphones with loads of wires coming out of it. I'm having difficulty believing that this device can record eye movements.
    • Re:Hoax? (Score:2, Funny)

      by Who235 ( 959706 )
      If you look closely, you'll see that there are cameras on the side.

      So every time you clumsily turn your head and see someone look at you as if to say, "Those headphones make you look like a total douchebag", it will record it for you and presumably play back, "You look like a total douchebag".

      Ain't technology wonderful?
      • Those cameras are far enough apart to provide 3d playback. So not only does he record events, but he records events that can be full 3D with the right VR goggles.

        I guessing on this, but it's the only explanation for 2 cameras....


        • Although having a 3-d record of everything that you've seen or looked at would undoubtedly be very cool, there are other reasons why the device might have two cameras: it might just be that's the only way to get decent coverage of the human field of vision, without putting a big fisheye lens on your forehead or something. This seems pretty likely: it's fairly easy to take two recordings and sew them together to make one big panorama (maybe not computationally easy, but it's possible to do this), and it may
  • How does this work? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pdr77 ( 748376 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:53AM (#15574833)
    Does this actually follow your gaze without looking at your eyes? Surely the headphones can't be sensitive enough to pick up the neural or nervous signalling?

    Still, it seems quite rudimentary compared with other AR projects like Tinmith: http://www.tinmith.net/ [tinmith.net]
    • Actually they probably are sensitive enough to pick up the muscle signals going to your eyes. Muscle signals are much easier to detect than brain waves.
      We have a similar device at work (headband with a couple electrodes) that will do the same thing if you set the filters to the correct frequency for the eye movement signals.
  • I know I save all my e-mail, and often refer back to it, especially in my business life, as I have a horrible memory, and may tasks to track. However, I know many business people that prefer to talk rather than write, so it would be really useful for me to record what they tell me.
    • "so it would be really useful for me to record what they tell me"

      Perhaps you should find out about the cutting edge device known as
      a "tape recorder" then?
    • > However, I know many business people that prefer to talk rather than write
      You misspelled "think".
  • by reset_button ( 903303 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @06:59AM (#15574849)
    All I see is some dumb looking guy with dumb looking headphones, and no real explanation of what either of them does.
  • by uncanny ( 954868 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:01AM (#15574853)
    Gaze detector activated: recording: boobs boobs boobs boobs eyes floor
  • by Flambergius ( 55153 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:02AM (#15574857)
    I'll always remember this day as the first time I realised that there was such a thing as a traditional neural implant. ... And wondered if had been asleep for a decade or two.
  • "Brainstorm" I think they called it?
    • More appropriate movie reference, "The Final Cut", a movie where someone takes your entire life which is recorded on some implant and splices a montage of events at your funeral.
      • More appropriate movie reference, "The Final Cut", a movie where someone takes your entire life which is recorded on some implant and splices a montage of events at your funeral.

        What happened in the movie? Lots of comments at the funeral about "no wonder his right wrist was so strong"?
  • Google timeline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:29AM (#15574908)
    Part of the fun of life is developing your own ability to distill the experiences of life into perceptions and integrating them into your own mind and later being able to adapt to future experiences by drawing upon your stored knowledge and being able to behave at least somewhat optimally.

    People have being doing this with varying degrees of success for tens of thousands of years.

    Now I have google desktop search installed on my laptop, and it has indexed my life. Everything I've ever seen on this machine for the past year, it remembers and knows about and can search for within seconds (CTRL-CTRL anyone?). Gigabytes of history. Every single web page I've ever visited (except those which I've deliberately excluded by using a virtual machine, torpark, etc). It knows more than I've learned (at least with respect to indexable keywords and strings) in the past year.

    It's kind of scary sometimes. There are some things you would want to forget. But it's so darn handy.
    • "Everything I've ever seen on this machine for the past year"

      So that'd be slashdot and porn then?

      "Every single web page I've ever visited "

      Is that a good idea? What if you parents get to see it one day
      when you're at school?

      "There are some things you would want to forget"

      Yeah , Anna nicole smith sites can do that to a man.
  • "So what *is* it?"

    Apart from making you look like a twat, I'm still non the wiser as to what this thing actually does!
  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <`gro.daetsriek' `ta' `todhsals'> on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @07:35AM (#15574920) Homepage
    God - I definitly would not want my Fiancee to be able to see what/who I was staring at all day.

    These files better be secure :)
  • Does it also upload these important events to my personal blog?
  • [blah blah] device [yack yack] less elegant [blah] traditional neural implant [yadda yadda yadda] system [hoodlihoo] goings on [fa fa fa] "bookmark" [yackety schmackety] feed you information [gweh] QR codes [ra ra ra] object recognition; [oy oy oy] augmented aural reality [zazoo zazoo] passing glance.
    Sweet crackers, it's too early in the morning. Couldn't we have an RIAA story? At least I can spell "RIAA" at 7AM.
  • This kind of thing could make Lucas Brunelle [digave.com]'s job easier, for better or for worse...

  • The movie "Final Cut" with Robin Williams.

    Where they implant a chip in your head that records all you do and gives you a movie of their life.
  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @08:43AM (#15575087) Journal
    From the article '[the device] is slightly less elegant than the traditional neural implant
    Umm, where is the research being done, that neural impants that do this are traditional? Did he step out of the future or something?

    I've just invented a levitating car (patents pending). Sure, it's less elegant than the traditional flying car, but I've never been a slave to tradition anyway.
  • Augmented Reality (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Wednesday June 21, 2006 @08:45AM (#15575097) Homepage Journal
    This is a really cool device, I've been looking forward to this for so long that I've contemplated building it myself.

    Remember that augmented reality is what virtual reality isn't: Useful for everyday life. Imagine a device like this linked with a wearable computer. Imagine it puts everyone whose face you look at for more than a second into a face-recognition search to find out whether you know that person, and if so it shows you some details (full name, birthday, any important details you entered into your contacts database to make sure you never forget about this person) via some unobstrusive HUD.

    Or imagine shopping with a wearable computer with online connection which can tell you that the gadget you're about to buy sells at $0.50 more next door, but they have 1 year guarantee instead of 6 months and a much better score on customer reviews.

    Or, to simplify it again, just imagine having a device with you that records everything you see in a round-robin storage of just a minute or two - suddenly you can store all those moments that happened two seconds before you remembered to grab your digicam.

    Augmented reality is a way cool research subject. If I were in university again, this is where I'd be heading.
    • I think augmented reality hs amazing potential, but I'm more than a little concerned about the impact on human function. We're already so dependent on machines, we're forgetting that it IS possible to know dozens of people's phone numbers with resorting to a cell phone address book.

      What happens when we depend on augmented reality to remind us who it is sitting across from us at the coffee shop?

      I don't want to sound like a Luddite here, but when your entire existence is dependent on external, technologic
      • we're forgetting that it IS possible to know dozens of people's phone numbers with resorting to a cell phone address book.

        True. But why should I? Human brains were not designed to remember phone numbers. There were no phone numbers to remember when homo sapiens evolved. The brain is much better at pattern matching (e.g. recognizing faces) than it is at storing digital data.

        What happens when we depend on augmented reality to remind us who it is sitting across from us at the coffee shop?

        That ain't the focus.
        • Good points. I'm still uncertain about what happens when we depend upon this for recall, though. I guess we'll adapt, and I suspect those that are successful will use it to augment, not replace, recall of foggy memories. I believe the human mind to be inherently lazy (which saves resources, after all) and I definitely foresee some dependency issues.

          Then again, I tend to take notes about people I've met who I expect to run across again, particularly if they held some interest for me. If an event comes u
          • I'm still uncertain about what happens when we depend upon this for recall, though.

            Nobody knows for sure. However, we do know for sure that repetition aids memory, especially if information is repeated in the proper context so it can be stored there. Almost all "remember names" tricks work that way, by making you associate names with faces in better ways, by repetition and association between name (data) and face (context) so the next time you are in that context (see that face) the associated data (the nam
      • I'm sure people probably said similar things when writing was invented: 'what of the human ability to memorize a thousand-line epic poem and recite it verbatim? Won't we become dependent on writing things down?'

        Short answer: yes, we will be dependent on technology. But I'm not convinced that's a bad thing. Sometimes there is a net benefit from becoming dependent on a "crutch." We're obviously dependent right now on writing; there are lots of things that we all really don't know but really just know where th
        • Well, those risks are still a big concern, and it's not just the personal risks, IMO. There is a huge societal risk that I think most people would not consider -- we'd be creating yet another avenue of attack from corporate or government sources.

          I'd also like to draw a distinction between writing as a dependency and something like augmented reality as a dependency. Writing is intrinsic, a tool for AR is extrinsic. Writing requires no tools that can't be picked up off the ground (a stick in the dirt, for
          • I would argue that your differentiation is artificial.

            Sure, you can write in the dirt with a stick. But that writing isn't very useful, it's not like writing a book. Useful writing -- producing something that can be passed from one person down to another and easily read, and stored, requires a substantial investment in technology. It's not what we think of when we think "high tech" today, but think of when writing was introduced.

            Even training people to write is a big challenge or risk: during the time when
            • I understand what you mean in re: writing as not an intrinsic ability for mankind. But I'm speaking of writing as an intrinsic for an individual.

              If I've learned to write, I'm not going to forget how. But if I depend on an implant, and access to that implant is denied me, I've got problems. Extrapolated across a society, thias gives the makers of the implants or AR devices a TON of 'bargaining' power. People will do strange things when they are faced with the possibility of something like that being tak
    • Meh. This has been done already, even before today's new device.

      See: http://www.eyetap.org/research/wearables/wearcomp/ wearables.html [eyetap.org]
      For list of many interesting projects and papers on the subject.

      For interesting look at overlaying images onto people via facial recognition and such, see:

      http://www.eyetap.org/research/wearables/wearcomp/ ieeecomputer/r2025.html [eyetap.org]


      http://www.eyetap.org/research/wearables/wearcomp/ personaltechnologies/ [eyetap.org]

    • Re:Augmented Reality (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cagle_.25 ( 715952 )
      OR, imagine that registered sex offenders are required to wear this device as a condition of parole. Imagine that your video memory gets subpoenaed for an assault case, and some sleazy lawyer gets to see everything you were watching. Imagine that Microsoft decides to offer these with wireless transmission to your laptop (so that you can record your entire performance in the Big Game) but leaves an "accidental" backdoor in the encryption protocol, which gets zero-day-exploited by blackmailers.

      Some imagine

  • An ego synonym for the penis enlarger.
  • ... slightly less elegant than the traditional neural implant...


    I mean, I knew I was having trouble keeping up with all the latest in gadgetry these days, but I must really be slipping if neural implants went mainstream and I missed it.
  • Or floors. When I'm in a meeting, or other similarly voice filled event, I tend to spend a lot of time listening and looking at the floor. What would a device like this make of that? Certainly there are some correlations between looking and listening and importance, but...I'm busy listening to NPR as I type this, as I've been browsing, and I haven't looked at the radio ONCE. Hardly means it's unimportant to me though....
  • Is anyone else thinking of Strange Days (Movie. The possibilities are endless
  • And here I've been being without the benefit of an electronic assistant. I wonder how much more efficiently I could 'be' with this? Could I be twice as often? Twice as quickly? Or does it add another layer of being? Like a multibe-er or something.

    Mmmm ... multibeer ...
  • Half the fun of taping an encounter with a female is hiding the camera. No fun if you can just plug your skull into your PC and rewind it. Agreed on the Strange Days reference.
  • This makes me think of Samus's Scan Visor. Maybe if you scan your boss, you can find his weak points, so you can take advantage and get a raise. You could find that structural instability in the side of your cubicle, to get to the hidden month-old-takeout-food powerup. You'll know interesting information about your coffee machine after you've scanned it, like who created it, and how it functions.
  • Dinner with wife

    Plate, menu, waitress, menu, wife, waitress, waitress' behind, wife's fist, ceiling, wife's shoe, ceiling, wife's shoe, ceiling, wife's shoe,...

    End of transmission
  • Doesn't sound like a good idea to me, here's why.

    When high speed modems were coming in they had a builtin fallback function whereby if the line was noisy they would slow down and keep the channel open. Sounds good right? Only problem was we had modems that were supposed to be on for days or weeks at a time. Since any line sometimes has problems the modems would get slower and slower over time and never get back to being fast, even after the temporary problem MWA'd ("magically went away"). The only soluti

  • Major application (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vhfer ( 643140 )
    What we seem to have missed here are applications for people who unlike Mr. Hiroyuki are not completely physical able.

    Millions of people depend on wheel chairs and personal care workers to do almost everything for them. If this gaze detection could be developed a bit more, these people could type (even those without use of their arms or hands) record conversations selectively, operate home lighting and heating controls, and holler for help if they fall or (as frequently happens) a care person fails to sh

  • Why does every futurist's vision of life these days sound like just another gadget laden sojourn in Hell?

    Welcome to the future, fifth Circle, second lava pit on the left. Just follow the ring tones.

  • I thought maybe this was something my 12th level Paladin could use against a Basilisk.
  • The description of the images snapped for me as "important" would read like:
    6/21/2006, img 30048: Cute blonde
    6/21/2006, img 30049: Hot Redhead
    6/21/2006, img 30050: Could her skirt be any shorter?
    6/21/2006, img 30051: Check her out.
    6/21/2006, img 30052: Screenshot of incomplete code, yes I should get back to that.
    6/21/2006, img 30053: Whoa! her legs are awesome!

    Do I really need my depravity documented with a chronological image archive?

    Yeah... actually, I guess that would be nice.

  • I've had one of these devices for quite some time. It's called a memory.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"