Sony Prototypes Eye-tracking Glasses for Lifelog

Jun 4, 2010
Tadashi Nezu, Nikkei Electronics
The device to track the movement of human eyes is attached to the glasses and connected to a notebook PC. An image taken by the camera embedded in the device is being shown on the PC screen. The white box on the screen indicates the part that is being gazed at by the user.
The device to track the movement of human eyes is attached to the glasses and connected to a notebook PC. An image taken by the camera embedded in the device is being shown on the PC screen. The white box on the screen indicates the part that is being gazed at by the user.
[Click to enlarge image]
There are two infrared LED lamps (gold parts) and four photoreceivers (small and black objects) inside the glasses.
There are two infrared LED lamps (gold parts) and four photoreceivers (small and black objects) inside the glasses.
[Click to enlarge image]
A camera is attached outside the glasses. The blue light indicates that the camera is shooting something.
A camera is attached outside the glasses. The blue light indicates that the camera is shooting something.
[Click to enlarge image]
The device has a function to recognize English characters being read by the user. In this picture, it recognized the characters "Eye Tracking Methodology."
The device has a function to recognize English characters being read by the user. In this picture, it recognized the characters "Eye Tracking Methodology."
[Click to enlarge image]

Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL) Inc showcased a device to track the movement of human eyes at Open House 2010, which took place May 28, 2010.

The device, which was prototyped in collaboration with the University of Tokyo, was designed for lifelogging. The device measures human eye movement. And, by associating it with the lifelog data collected by the camera embedded in the device, the user's objects of interest can be determined.

"It is not a full-scale eye tracker," Sony CSL said. "It is small enough to be attached to glasses."

This time, Sony CSL equipped glasses with the new device. The glasses are equipped with infrared LED lamps and photoreceivers inside and a camera outside.

An infrared light is directed to the eyeball, and the photoreceivers detect the light reflected on the eyeball to locate the position of the black part of the eyeball so that the movement of the eye can be measured. By associating the eye movement with the image from the camera, the user's objects of interest are determined.

Moreover, the glasses have a function to recognize English characters and can collect character data from, for example, the title of a book that the user is gazing at.

Sony CSL is planning to add a GPS function to the device for location information and embed the new device in the frame of glasses. One of the issues for commercialization of the device is power supply.

"It is technically possible to embed the device in the frame of glasses," the company said.