i beam, which allows users to navigate their tablet by sight alone, is currently under development by NTT docomo. This could be used on crowded public transport or when carrying heavy luggage, where touch input may be difficult to accomplish. To detect the user’s line of sight, i beam uses eye tracking technology from Tobii Technology.
“There are two cameras under the display. They track the motion of the eyes, to calculate where the user’s looking.”
“For example, if you want to tap something in the browser, first, you look at that part, then you tap anywhere to select it. To zoom in, you look at the relevant place, then you scroll anywhere, to zoom in on that part.”
Because the size and motion of people’s eyes varies, i beam needs to be calibrated before use.
If you look at the same place for about a second, that place is selected. So, if you look at the bottom left in your book reader, you can turn the page, and in your browser, you can scroll in the direction where you are looking.
“Currently, we’re not planning to commercialize this system. But we’re exhibiting this prototype to see if any issues arise. After that, we’d like to think about developing it commercially.”