The eyes have it

Written by Andy Stout

SamsungAnother NYC launch event

According to the New York Times the latest version of the Samsung Galaxy phone, the Galaxy IV S, will track your eye movements to control certain features such as scrolling. If they get the balance right, this could lead to a whole new raft of features for the video production industry

It's all about saving time. The author remembers talking to a vfx software developer back when these packages cost the same as a family car who claimed that if he could remove just one single keystroke from a repetitive task such as applying a key, he could save an artist minutes per day. Expand that out over multiple artists working on a major film, and you ended up with a significant saving and one that made company x's products that bit more attractive than company y's.

The new Samsung phone apparently will ship with a feature dubbed eye scrolling that detects when your eyes have reached the bottom of a screen and will automatically cue up the next page. Enough patents have been filed recently to suggest that it might even be true too.

It all falls into the brave new world of gestural control and you can certainly see the benefits: point with eyes, blink once for left mouse button, twice for right, and hey presto you've probably completed that task far quicker than you could have with before. You could even have had your mouse-hand working on other aspects of the task at the same time.

There is a potential problem though in dialling out the involuntary movements. In the same way that sub-vocalisation has never caught on as a control mechanism as it throws up simply too much subconscious clutter, so the eyes are subject to all manner of movements and motions as the brain processes information.

Eye control is a nice idea, and beyond the realms of the video professional one that could certainly dramatically transform the lives of paraplegics and others with dramatically restricted movement. But it's all too easy to imagine a scenario where the new intern walks past your station and you suddenly find you've lost everything you've been working on for the past ten minutes...

Tags: Technology


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