SideWays eye-tracking system shown at Paris conference (w/ video)

May 01, 2013 by Nancy Owano report
This diagram illustrates the image processing of the SideWays system. Credit: Yanxia Zhang

(Phys.org) —Marketers partnering with software innovators are thinking up new ways to know customers better, to take the guesswork out of product targeting. Technologies hold out hope that companies will minimize the toll that product duds can take on advertising budgets and name-brands. Eye-tracking is seen as one of the technology tools with potential for selling smart. Where does the consumer look? What catches the most attention? What is that person's viewing behavior? A prototype system introduced at a Paris show this week takes the comment, "Oh, I'm just looking" and turns it into good news for shopkeepers and retail giants. "I'm just looking" customers may reveal how to target brands and, fundamentally, sell.

The shown at the Conference on in in Paris this week is called SideWays, by Andreas Bulling of the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrücken, Germany, and Yanxia Zhang and Hans Gellersen at Lancaster University in the UK.

The system can track what the customer is looking at; it detects the faces of people walking by and calculates where the eyes are relative to the eye corners. Potentially, the store could readjust ads and displays for optimal positioning of products that appear to grab the greatest interest.

The device uses a single camera positioned close to the screen. In their paper, "SideWays: A Gaze Interface for SpontaneousInteraction with Situated Displays," the researchers wrote, "SideWays robustly detects whether users attend to the center of the display or cast glances to the left or right."

The viewer can control the screen, using eyes to control content such as scrolling through items on a list. Attention to the central display is the default state, but sidelong glances can trigger input or actions.

The authors think they have made a contribution in their work by validating that "SideWays enables as input for , without the need of prior calibration or specialist hardware." They said the significance lay in the achievement of "robust gaze control, albeit coarse-grained, without need for calibration means that our system is person-independent." Any user can walk up to a display fitted with their system, and interact with it using their eyes only.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

"Person-independence and interaction without preparation are critical steps toward genuinely spontaneous interaction with displays we encounter in public environment."

Explore further: BMW to reveal driverless innovations that allow for 360- degree collision avoidance and valet parking

More information: SideWays: A Gaze Interface for Spontaneous Interaction with Situated Displays: www.andreas-bulling.de/fileadm… docs/zhang13_chi.pdf

via Newscientist

Related Stories

Consumer product giants' eye-trackers size up shoppers

Jul 16, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Consumer product giants whose supply chains, profit margins, and boardroom reports depend on how fast the paper towels, shampoo, and diapers can fly off the shelves no longer dare to rely on ...

Google patent calls on eyes to unlock smart glasses

Aug 09, 2012

(Phys.org) -- In patent language, the application granted to Google this week says simply “Unlocking a screen using eye tracking information” but the message seems clear enough that Google plans ...

Tobii's eye tracker REX will showcase at CES (w/ video)

Jan 03, 2013

(Phys.org)—Tobii Technology is introducing the REX, a USB-connected peripheral that works with Tobii's software Gaze. The Stockholm-based company will show its REX device for Windows 8 at the CES show in ...

Sony patent seeks to correct autostereoscopic blur

May 13, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Sony has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a glasses-free 3-D display that will adjust the picture so that the user gets an optimal view no matter how far or close to the screen. In its application, “Stereoscopic Image Proces ...

Recommended for you

Cheaper, more powerful VR system for engineers

Dec 17, 2014

It's like a scene from a gamer's wildest dreams: 12 high-definition, 55-inch 3D televisions all connected to a computer capable of supporting high-end, graphics-intensive gaming.

Nokia HERE prepares maps for autonomous cars

Dec 17, 2014

Autonomous cars will need a new kind of map, a crucial element that until now has been given a back seat to the more popularly discussed issues of sensors and legal questions. Senior Writer Greg Miller in ...

Dutch launch 'intelligent bicycle' that warns of danger

Dec 15, 2014

The Netherlands on Monday launched its first-ever "intelligent bicycle", fitted with an array of electronic devices to help bring down the high accident rate among elderly cyclists in the bicycle-mad country.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.