Eye-tracker Technology Watches Your Reading

In tests on volunteers wearing infrared eye-tracking glasses, his team found that their software could count the number of words read with an accuracy of about 94 per cent, and tell how fast you were reading, purely by looking at the movement of the eyes. By asking their volunteers to read different types of materials – novels, fashion magazines, newspapers, research papers and textbooks – they have shown that these various media can be discerned near perfectly from the way readers’ eyes move around their telltale layouts.

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NewScientist - “ADDICTED to the Mail Online’s infamous celebrity tittle-tattle and not spending enough time in Hemingway’s company? A new breed of device could soon be logging everything you read, letting you see for yourself whether your reading habits need revamping.

The “quantified self” movement has spawned wearable gadgets like Fitbit and FuelBand, which monitor physical fitness, telling you how far you’ve walked or how many calories you’ve burned. How about logging how much you read on screens instead? Like a Fitbit for the mind.

A “cognitive activity tracker” developed by Kai Kunze at Osaka Prefecture University in Japan can tell how many words we read, how often and how fast we read, and even whether we are skim reading or actually concentrating on the content. It could also generate summaries of documents as you read them by logging which passages your eyes dwell on.

Such detail about what we look at, whether on a screen or on paper, is being made possible by the emergence of gaze-trackers – devices that monitor our eyes to analyse where we are looking. Swedish firm Tobii Technology is leading the way in commercialising the technology. It has developed a $99 system that uses infrared cameras trained on the cornea to watch for the eyeball’s movements. These cameras can be built into a headset, such as Google Glass, or clipped to the top of a computer screen or tablet…” Full Article on NS

“Google’s recently filed patent for a Gaze Tracking System is a big deal and could one day revolutionize the advertising industry, the industry upon which the company has built its empire. In this theoretical pay-per-gaze scheme, advertisers are charged when a passerby actually looks at their ad. The gaze tracking system would initially need to be paired with a headset like Google’s forthcoming Glass to track your eye movement, but could eventually be applied to any consumer simply walking down the street…”

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