New eye tracking technology captures attention

Researchers all over the world are working on developing intelligent glasses. These are supposed to be able to recognise just through eye movement where the wearer is looking and to display information about the object being viewed. If the wearer looks at a medicinal product, for example, the system could warn about side effects when the product is combined with other pharmaceutical drugs. Ideas such as this are taken up by The First International Workshop on Solutions for Automatic Gaze Data Analysis (SAGA 2013), which takes place on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 October 2013 at CITEC, Bielefeld University. The workshop has been organised in cooperation with the Collaborative Research Centre Alignment in Communication (SFB 673) of Bielefeld University.

The aim of participating researchers is to understand the behaviour of people in complex natural environments, e.g. while shopping or playing chess. For this reason, they use mobile eye tracking glasses to capture eye movement. Cameras built into the glasses record what the wearer is looking at and save this as a video. ‘The challenge now is to establish the connection between eye movement and observed objects,’ explains CITEC researcher Thies Pfeiffer, one of the conference organisers. ‘Currently, this is captured image by image in a laborious process which researchers carry out by hand.’

A central question of the workshop is how machines can automatically recognise observed objects and how eye movement can be more efficiently evaluated. If successful, the researchers could gather and evaluate data much faster than before. Various applications of this technology will be presented and discussed by experts. Live demonstrations of differing solutions will give a taste of what is technically possible today.

Current research prototypes of CITEC are already able to recognise the product packaging that a person is looking at in a supermarket in real time, i.e. during observation, and provide corresponding information from a data bank. Another system supports the wearer when playing chess by analysing the current game play and giving tips on the particular chess piece that is being looked at.

The conference is being held in English. To participate in the complete workshop it is necessary to register. The keynote speeches are open to the general public.

More information on the Internet at:

Dr. Thies Pfeiffer, Universität Bielefeld
Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)
Phone: + 49 (0) 521 106-12373