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Input Devices Games

Eye Tracking Coming To Video Games 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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Eye Tracking Coming To Video Games

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  • yuck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @05:40PM (#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.

  • by jeffb (2.718) ( 1189693 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @05:40PM (#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...

  • by spankey51 ( 804888 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @05:43PM (#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:yuck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday January 03, 2014 @05:57PM (#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.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982