Looks can't kill but might control your phone

February 17, 2010 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
A man controls his mp3 player with his eyes at the Mobile World congress in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010. The Mobile World Congress will be held from Feb. 15-18. The Eye-Controlled Earphones, on show at the Mobile World Congress, have electrodes around the outside of the buds. These electrodes, called 'electroculograms' (EOG), detect tiny difference in the electrical potential of the eyes as they move. The eye is positive at the cornea and negative at the retina. As the eyes move, the potential around it changes, and these changes can be used to control things. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

(AP) -- The advent of wireless headsets has led to the sometimes confusing sight of people who look like they're talking to themselves, until you realize they're on a phone call.

If a technology demonstration by goes anywhere, we may have to get ready for another odd sight: people who quickly flick their gaze sideways and roll their eyes for no apparent reason.

They'll be controlling their phones or their music players. NTT DoCoMo has created headphones that sense . For instance, you can look from right to left to pause your music. Look right, then right again, to skip to the next track. Roll them clockwise to raise the volume.

NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese wireless carrier, demonstrated the headphones this week at the world's largest wireless trade show, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It doesn't have any specific plans to get the technology into the market.

The headphones look much like regular earbuds, connected by a cable to a phone. They sense the movements of the eyeballs by measuring tiny changes in electric charge. It turns out that the cornea, the outer surface of the eyes, has a positive charge. When you look left, the resulting shift in the electrical charge can be detected as far away as the ears. And no, this is not the source of the expression "electrifying gaze."

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