Movement-tracking technology isn’t new, but it’s certainly ramping up.
The Xbox Kinect tracks your entire body using a proprietary camera, and Samsung integrated what it calls Smart Scroll into the Galaxy S4, which isn’t so much eye-tracking as it is recognising head-tilt.
Eye-tracking could be the next big thing when it comes to motion-sensing technology, and it seems that Israeli startup Umoove is on its way to incorporating it in lots of future tech.
Umoove — which has raised around $US3 million in total funding, according to CrunchBase — burst onto the scene in a big way with an iOS game called Umoove Experience that demos its super precise face-tracking technology.
The game uses your phone’s front-facing camera to track your head movements as you fly around and gather potions. It’s fun, but more importantly, it’s accurate. And that’s where Umoove’s next bit of technology comes in.
The company will unveil new eye-tracking technology in the next few months that uses the existing camera in your phone or tablet.
“Eye tracking is mainly about understanding the user without him even actively interacting,” Umoove’s CEO Yitzi Kempinski told Business Insider in an email.
Kempinski imagines various use cases for such a technology. He says:
“Whether it is for real analytics that understand users’ interests, medical diagnoses based on following your eye movement, advertising that knows if you looked at it, content that changes based on its understanding of your interests, or just a whole new world of human computer interaction in which you don’t have to tell the computer everything, it just understands you like a close friend does.”
Here’s a video demoing the eye-tracking software. You can see how the cursor moves without hesitation, and when his eyes land on a video, the video starts playing automatically:
Several companies are already requesting the SDK, ranging from very large companies to small indie developers targeting diverse products, such as games, advertising, mobile OEMs, children’s apps, and more, Kempinski said.
The company’s site says:
Umoove has created a software-only face and eye tracking technology, built especially to facilitate the challenges in mobile environments such as shakiness, lighting and limited hardware resources. The technology runs at a CPU as low as 5% in real-time and needs nothing but the raw frames of the front-facing camera for input. On top of the core technology, Umoove has developed an interpretation layer which turns the face and eye movements into a language of interaction and valuable data.
A possible use case would be an advertising company using the technology to know how long a user’s eyes lingered on a particular ad. That could help shape the advertising a site uses in the future — where the ad is placed on the page, for example — based on the information gathered by Umoove’s technology.
“The type of data we can get varies from what you are looking at and when, to things like how interested and engaged you are in the visuals you are looking at,” Kempinski said.