Eye tracking is the term used to describe the tracking of a person's eye movements to calculate the point of view that the user is looking at (gaze point). The movements are recorded and analyzed via so-called eye trackers.
Eye tracking has been used for over 30 years as a scientific method in the neurosciences, perceptual, cognitive and advertising psychology, cognitive and clinical linguistics, for computer control for physically impaired persons, in usability tests, in product design and reading research.
An eye tracker emits near infrared light (NIR), which is reflected in the eyes of the user. The weak infrared light has the advantage that it is not perceived by the eye and thus does not disturb the user. In addition, it is largely independent of ambient light and thus functions even in absolute darkness.
Special cameras record the position of the infrared reflection points and the pupils at 40-90 Hz and algorithms calculate the coordinates of the current point of view locally on the eye tracker. This requires a singular calibration to the user lasting about 20 seconds.
In principle, eye tracking also works with visual aids. However, high dioptric values, severe corneal curvature or varifocal glasses can lead to inaccuracies in the calculated focal point. With varifocals it is advantageous if the difference in strength is smaller, but more important is the behaviour of the user with regard to the head position. Users who change the head tilt little during use can use NUIA without any restrictions.
The infrared light emitted by the LEDs can also be found in our natural environment, such as in candlelight or sunlight. It is nothing other than light in the invisible spectrum, which has less energy than visible light. Infrared light is sometimes also used as heat radiation in radiant heaters, e.g. for small children. However, the heat emitted by an eye tracker is so weak that it cannot be felt even directly at the eye tracker.
The eye trackers we work with are subject to the European standard EN 62471, which ensures that all products with light emissions do not cause any damage to the user.
The eye tracker captures the gaze point and the position of the head in three-dimensional space. The focal point (in the form of screen coordinates) is calculated in real time locally on the eye tracker with the aid of a special chip (ASIC).
No pictures or videos are recorded with the eye tracker, all information of the cameras is processed immediately and passed on as HID (Human Input Device) information via USB.
The gaze point is used for active control of applications (e.g. trigger the viewed button without moving the mouse) and for passive, intelligent assistance (e.g. automatically scrolling a long web page based on the reading position).
Operating a computer with NUIA Productivity+ is not intended to replace the mouse completely, but rather to supplement it. Mouse movements and clicks can be significantly reduced with the help of eye control.
In particular recurring mouse movements between areas within an application, recurring workflow sequences with several interaction steps, entries in form fields, search in long lists and reading longer texts benefit from NUIA.
A short video at https://youtu.be/FU2PAsvSnJU shows NUIA eye control in action.
Smart Teleport Whether in the browser, CAD program or ERP system, thousands of mouse movements per day add up to kilometers of distance and time. Save up to 80% of mouse movement by having NUIA automatically move the mouse pointer to the desired button, link or input field when the intention is recognized - fully automatically with a little "push".
Quick Click From the ERP to the PLM system to the service center application, thousands of mouse clicks every day cost time and are a permanent health burden. Activate input fields, buttons or links with your eyes and a single keystroke - without taking your hands off the keyboard.
Gaze Scrolling Scrolling long emails and web pages or flipping through multi-page PDF documents - mouse wheel scrolling also puts a strain on health and causes the "mouse hand". From now on, you can read texts and documents in a relaxed manner while NUIA scrolls automatically at your desired speed - triggered only by your gaze.
Gaze Pad Modern applications offer numerous keyboard shortcuts, but not everyone can remember them all. Get direct access to the most frequently used functions of the current program and activate them just by looking at them - triggered by the same key combination every time.
NUIA is not intended to replace the mouse, but to significantly reduce the use of the mouse. In some situations, the mouse is supplemented by an added target mechanism, the "Smart Teleport". In other situations, like with the "Quick Click", the input can be done completely without the mouse. Each user finds his own distribution here.
NUIA was designed to generate added value from day one and without training. While the user follows his usual operation with the mouse, NUIA continuously calculates the user's target (e.g. button, link, input field) and, with the help of the Smart Teleport, moves the mouse cursor to the respective object according to the detected intention - regardless of the individual way the mouse is moved. Similarly, Gaze Scrolling occurs automatically during reading.
Further functions such as the Gaze Selector or the Quick Click function are indicated to the user by a minimally visible "UI overlay" on the respective element. That way the user is offered this new and more convenient way of computer operation every time and can decide whether he wants to still use the mouse or trigger the element directly with his eyes.
Most users have already become accustomed to the new operating method within the first week of use.