We controlled a TV with our eyes
We controlled a TV with our eyes - it almost worked

21 Jan 2013 | Rasmus Larsen |

There are TVs with gesture controls, there are TVs with voice controls, and last year we saw a TV with “mind controls”. In Las Vegas we tried controlling a TV with our eyes. It worked – sort of.

Control your TV with your eyes

The Chinese electronics makers are becoming more prominent at the CES shows. Hisense, Haier, and TCL may not be household names but they continue to attract more attention. At CES, Hisense had taken over Microsoft’s old CES area after the software giant said goodbye to CES last year. And we are certain that the Chinese makers will continue the path into our conscience.

Haier lets you control your TV with your eyes
Haier lets you control your TV with your eyes

At this year’s CES we saw a completely novel concept; control your TV with your eyes – nothing else.

The prototype uses a small camera sensor (seen in the bottom of the picture above) to register the eyes. The user interface on the TV is relatively simple and can show for example photo slideshows but the user can also navigate through TV channels and control volume be looking at the bottom of the screen. You can activate an area on the screen by blinking with both eyes.

FlatpanelsHD tried it and it worked – but not perfectly. It was a bit inaccurate, especially when our eyes focused on the outer edges of the screen. It was also hard to activate items at times. You had to make an exaggerated blink motion as the system compensated for regular blinks.

But the concept was also interesting and surely has potential. With some calibration and a more accurate sensor we imagine that it can work. It is impressive to observe how motion systems have developed from relatively simple motion tracking (Microsoft Kinect) to systems that can detect eye movement (or even everything). It felt almost surrealistic to have the cursor on the TV follow your eyes and it was also interesting to notice how you use your eyes in your body language. When you stop to think about something (for example “what to do next”) your eyes tend to wander, which obviously translated to the screen, so you had to concentrate a bit.

See the video below for a demonstration. It is not FlatpanelsHD in the video but instead a Haier employee.

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