Imagine this: you’re on a crowded bus/train and you got one hand holding your smartphone and the other, the rail to keep you from falling. Now, who’s going to help you with navigating the device?
Apple devices may soon become smarter and help you with this, thanks to a new patent the tech conglomerate’s been granted. It’s basically a gaze-tracking graphical user interface that might one day make its way on to Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Macs, or even Apple TV.
Now, we know Samsung’s got a Smart Scroll feature that’s somewhat similar and in the early stages of this, but this patent particularly deals with Troxler’s fading. For those of you with no idea what that is, it’s a phenomenon that impacts visual perception of unmoving objects within a person’s peripheral vision.
So this patent could potentially use eye-tracking hardware that tracks and follows a user’s gaze, then translate that information on the screen. And to avoid cursor fade, Apple’s highlighted a system that computes perceptual fading by calculating the time between eye movements, blinking or both.
Another two methods were included too – using infrared sensors to determine when a user blinks (by taking pictures of the user’s face or by detecting the pupil) to move the cursor and another than measures and tracks the user’s viewing angle or distance from display.
Putting aside all this technical talk, we think a gaze-tracking system on future Macs and iOS devices would be an interesting add-on to its current features (unless you’ve got darting/roving eyes).
And if voice control functionality gets added on to this element, Apple could be steering in the era of “hands-off” device controls.
[Source and image: Apple Insider]