Apple is hard at work developing an eye-tracking technology that will one day be put to use inside its iPhones, iPads and Mac PCs. But use for the tech won’t end there –– Apple is said to be keen on bringing it into cars and a “future gaming console.”
“Controlling a system using advanced eye tracking is tricky and Apple’s patent discusses how their system will overcome the number one problem facing eye tracking systems today: Troxler’s fading,” reports Patently Apple.
I know what you’re thinking: What the hell is Troxler’s fading? Here’s a simple definition of the phenomenon via Wikipedia [we didn’t know what it was either]:
“Troxler’s fading or Troxler’s effect is a phenomenon of visual perception. When one fixates on a particular point, after about 20 seconds or so, a stimulus away from the fixation point, in peripheral vision, will fade away and disappear. The effect is enhanced if the stimulus is small, is of low contrast or equiluminant, or is blurred. The effect is enhanced the further the stimulus is away from the fixation point.”
Troxler’s fading is one of the big stumbling blocks facing a truly holistic eye-based computer/smartphone/dashboard UX. But fear not –– Apple has a work around. In its system the technology features “one or more measures to counteract the perceptual fading of a cursor with respect to the GUI.”
You can check out the full report here for all the technical details –– and we must warn you it does get VERY technical.
Beyond “traditional” Apple products –– the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air –– the patent mentions other future technology the eye-catching feature could feature inside. These include: vehicles, video game systems and entertainment systems.