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New technology allows games to be controlled entirely with eye movements

Pressing buttons? Waving your arms in front of a sensor? Nah! That stuff is old-school - there's a new technology in the works which can detect the movement of your eyes and apply it as a control mechanism.

To accomplish this, engineering research group National Instruments uses electrodes which measure voltage activity when a human's eyes move. As the voltage generated from eye movements is very weak, delicate measurements are required. Nevertheless, the engineers have created working prototypes - look left or right and an object on the screen will move accordingly. Or, open your eyes wider to expand the view.

The technology likely has many medical applications (helping treat patients with 'lazy eyes' was noted), but National Instruments applications engineer Hunter Smith says he's also interested in applying it to videogames. The company has already developed a simplistic flight simulation game controlled exclusively by eye movement.

The probability is low that the technology will be deployed to consumers as a gaming mechanism on a large scale, but it could help disabled gamers effectively control games otherwise controlled with buttons, analog sticks, and body movements. And that's pretty cool.

[Source: Design News]

Feb 7, 2011

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15 comments

  • KrazyGamer - February 9, 2011 11:37 p.m.

    I can Imagine This working in Horror games, Look in every corner and BLA-COW(Made up word rofl), But seriously that sounds pretty awesome. I'm also glad that it helps special needs people get the opportunity to play some games, Thats sweet.
  • ithurtstopoop - February 8, 2011 12:13 p.m.

    Wow just like back to the future 2.
  • AGENTJORRRG - February 8, 2011 7:43 a.m.

    SWEET. The less movement you have to do to control the game, the more immersive they become. This could have potential. Imagine playing Silent Hill with this.
  • Crimmy - February 8, 2011 6:14 a.m.

    Truly incredible. I wonder what could come of this.
  • erreip199 - February 8, 2011 3:03 a.m.

    combine this with that headband that reads ur mind to perform actions (GR made an article about it) and super lazy gamers wont even need to move their hands hahaha or combine it with kinect for even more cool things
  • chiz - February 7, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    and people are worried about the 3DS hurting their eyes...
  • shawksta - February 7, 2011 10:18 p.m.

    Sounds good its would be great as a gameplay mechanic addition to what we do but as an addition only, fully would be pushing it and wont be fun unless they do something. Playing Horror games with that would be epic!
  • d0x - February 7, 2011 9:54 p.m.

    Eye tracking sounds all well and good but when we look in a direction our TV isnt going to move with us so this thing needs to be ultra high resolution and incredibly accurate to get really small movements or else we will all be staring at the wall.
  • FauxFurry - February 7, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    So,shifty eyes and excessive blinking=button mashing? If penetrating stares can't be translated into forward movement,expect everything to be on-rails. Eye-Toy + Kinect= Eye Kintact? Kinect Lens? Seriously though,this technology will not only make the computer mouse obsolete (maybe its time to set the Mouser robots loose so we won't have to deal with the threat posed by all of those displaced mechanical mice? Stockman will be a very wealthy man after this is all over,all without having to resort to crime.),it will make pixel hunting point-and-click adventure games a whole lot less tedious and probably give someone an excuse to make a proper psychokinesis/optic beam simulator. Obviously,that means this advance in motion controls will destroy gaming as we know it yet again.
  • SomeOddGuy - February 7, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    I remember seeing this being incorporated with World of Goo as a tech demo to demonstrate the possibility of playing a game with eye tracking technology. Still seems like there's much work needed to truly create an immersive game with such technology, but I'm curious with what they could come up with. Here's that video of World of Goo being played with eye tracking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcwfh_BVK4A
  • FanofSaiyan - February 7, 2011 9:31 p.m.

    This would make survival horror games a completely different experience than if you were just fumbling around with a controller or mouse.
  • revolver127 - February 7, 2011 9:22 p.m.

    Stephen Hawking can play video games now!!
  • Japanaman - February 7, 2011 9:13 p.m.

    This would be perfect for surfing the web through your glasses or controling spy glasses which could zoom in and take photographs of people.
  • Sy87 - February 7, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    No no it can work. I tried something like this out. One of the professors from our university is taking part in the research and I tried it out. Not much in playing games just pic surfing with your eyes, but it was still cool. Over time something like this can work really well. He also showed a demo of him targeting in WOW with it.
  • SecretGingerWizard - February 7, 2011 8:59 p.m.

    It's interesting to hear about possibilities this could have in the medical field, but for video games? I just don't think it's gonna work out...

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