UK scientist pioneers cost-effective headset that enables a wearer's eyes to control a computer
Neuroscientist, Dr Aldo Faisal has used components which can be bought in a shopping mall
Faisal hopes to use technology in combination with neurological science to help sufferers of disabilities
Take two video-game console cameras and one pair of horn-rimmed glasses and for around $30 you have a device that will allow you to control a computer or, potentially, even a wheelchair with your eyes.
Previously, if you wanted to buy similar eye-tracking equipment it would have cost you upwards of $8,000. Now, scientists in London have pioneered a device, the GT3D, using components anyone of us can buy from the shopping mall.
The breakthrough could help millions of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy and, potentially, opens the door to a new era of hands-free computers, allowing us to use them without a mouse, keyboard or touch screen.
For the lead researcher Dr Aldo Faisal, a neuroscientist at Imperial College in London, the new device only came about because of his obsession with disassembling gadgets.
“I like to play with gadgets and was playing with a popular video-game console,” he said. “I hacked it and discovered it was very fast and better than any webcam for movement. Actually, it was so fast that I found we could record eye movement with it.”
Tracking eye movement is no mean feat. Our eyes moves 10 to 20 times a second, so a standard webcam or even film camera will miss most eye movements and where we are looking. As such, it is perhaps no surprise commercial eye-tracking devices are so expensive.