Apple Patents Eye-Tracking Software Feature for Possible Use on Mac and iOS

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted an Apple patent, originally filed in April of 2012, that deals with eye-tracking technology used to control a user interface on a computer or smartphone (via AppleInsider). The specific invention involves a method for ensuring users do not lose track of a cursor while controlling their devices through eye-tracking movements.

    The patent, with inventor credit going to David P. Julian, describes future Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices that could include the new camera technology, allowing movements of a user's eye to translate to the movement of a cursor on screen. The patent doesn't go into deep detail describing any further practical use of the "gaze control" technology, though it does mention in passing the possible use such advancements could have in vehicles, game consoles, and entertainment systems.

    The patent mostly attempts to battle the Troxler Effect, an optical effect that causes objects in the periphery to begin to disappear when a user focuses on a particular point on-screen. This is a particularly troubling issue with retina-tracking technology, which requires a user to focus on various on-screen interface prompts to properly work.

    Apple's invention seeks to counteract the Troxler Effect by monitoring eye movements and blinking to estimate when a user is likely to be losing track of a mouse pointer or other cursor due to the effect. The system would automatically move the cursor to bring it back to visibility.
    A handful of older patents filed by the company have been released by the Patent and Trademark Office as of late, including a transforming home-button-to-gaming-joystick just last week. Like all other patents, the possibility of the eye-tracking tech showing up anytime soon in an Apple product is very slim, but is an interesting glimpse into the company's possible future nonetheless.

    Article Link: Apple Patents Eye-Tracking Software Feature for Possible Use on Mac and iOS
  2. Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    That's so awesome I was hoping they'd do this at some point!!! #####
  3. elmateo487 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 12, 2008
  4. ShUpAC macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
  5. rcalderoni macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Is that Jony Ive? Carving the new iPad design with his laser eyes?!
  6. BoulderAdonis, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  7. Sandstorm macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2011
    Riga, Latvia
  8. 2457282, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

    2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    Stephen Hawking has a system to communicate that is based on his eye movement. He wrote an entire book using that technology. I wonder if this patent does something better than that.
  9. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    I wish Apple would just invent something to tap into the thought circuits in the brain. That way, we will never need a physical I/O device or displays. It would be great if we could just implant the processor, co-processor and baseband chips directly into the neural system. :apple:
  10. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    That will be iPhone 10s. But you will need to have it activated at an Apple store. :)
  11. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    I know that's how I look when I use my Apple products!
  12. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
  13. thekeyring macrumors 68040

    Jan 5, 2012
    Or like any eye-tracking technology that exists.

    Honestly, my first thought when reading the article was not the Galaxy S4, but of the computer that track the eyes of people who are paralysed from the neck down, enabling them to use a computer and communicate.
  14. FoxMcCloud macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    Middlesbrough, England
    Accessibility feature no doubt.

    It wont be a "Smart Stay" feature or whatever Samsung called it. S-Pause and S-Look. So annoying.
  15. mdelvecchio macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2010
    you dont know that. patents arent granted to *ideas* ("flying car"), theyre granted to *implementation* details (how your car flies).
  16. lotzosushi macrumors 6502


    Jan 10, 2007
  17. Natzoo macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Not sure where i am
    The smily face doh. If only apple released the product this year.
  18. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    They could use this to also control how far the mouse can move in any given direction. IE, you can't accidentally move the mouse beyond the section of the screen that it sees you're looking at.
  19. LordVic macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2011
    another instance of apple throwing ideas at the patent office, despite prior art, and the patent office goign "MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and approving it.

    it would never hold up in court.
  20. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
    Now we have the head that attaches to these hands!


    This was from an Apple patent request a few years back.
  21. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    So the Borg Collective runs OS X. No wonder they're so efficient.;) Resistance is futile.
  22. smilo998 macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2015
    Eye tech

    I would have thought, seeing as Apple have purchased Beats they will add a fold away HUD accessory to use on apple headphoners if you want to much like Google glasses.
    Unlike Google failure glasses many more people wear headphones of one sort or another. HUD Can then be built in or addded as an accessory with a built in mic for siri activation.

    Few situations where you need a HUD but not headphones.

    Will be huge.

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