Wearables such as smart glasses have made several attempts to make it to the mainstream consumer. The prime example is Google Glass. The smart glasses that tried to break into the mainstream. When it first arrived on the market, it created a solid buzz simply due to the association with the company name Google. Google Glass was an attempt to provide a practical wearable computer for enterprise level distributions. The price tag of $1500 was a high one for many consumers. Not to mention, breaking technology into the fashion industry was not an easy task. Lastly, there were security and safety concerns raised. Wearing a device that looks like glasses into a restricted area to take video and pictures is a privacy concern. A lot of questions, not enough answers.
So where do we go from there? Better human factors? Better needs assessment? Was it a solution built without a problem? At BrighterSight, we are about finding out what the problems are and then providing the solutions to the problems. We use the latest technologies for information capture, processing & visualization, then present the information in a manner that’s useful in dynamic environments. We are in the business of finding solutions to problems. When dealing with high-stress environments, there is a lot of information that needs to be presented, processed and acted upon as efficiently as possible, such as to help paramedics improve patient safety. We perform Human Factors studies to find out where problems lie and then provide solutions that help rather than hinder.
So how do we do human factors with smart eyewear? How do we truly test if a device is working for the intended needs? Well, the first step is trying to figure out what the human needs are and how the human in the loop does their job. In order to do that we need to capture how work is being down. For smart eyewear, there are devices that can do just that. Wearable eye trackers.
Eye trackers are devices that measure eye movements of the individuals during specific tasks. The data captured by the eye trackers can be used to measure cognitive performance. Eye trackers have been around for years but they have always been stationary. Recently, eye trackers have advanced to the point where they are now mobile and could be used to track eye movement on smart eyewear devices. By understanding where the human is looking, future applications developed for smart eyewear can be made more effective in terms of human-computer interfaces. Eye trackers can be used to measure focus, context and cognitive performance. That data can aid in the advancements of smart glass applications.
This is what BrighterSight is currently looking into.
One manufacturer of eye tracking device that we are potentially interested in is Tobii. They have four categories of trackers.
Check out more about Tobii and all the use cases here:
Eye tracking for research: