Imagine strapping on a pair of special glasses that know your gaze better than you. That’s the essence of Lenovo's new patent: an "Eye tracking system and method". Patent number US11797085B1, this set of glasses is engineered with a miniaturized camera that spies your eye and interprets its reflection on the lens to determine your line of sight.
At present, the key issue being tackled stems from the challenge of using infrared (IR) light, currently instrumental in eye tracking technology used in virtual reality gaming, augmented reality devices, and vehicle driver awareness systems. The method, although effective, is linked to a string of difficulties.
The main snag with IR light lies in its intrusiveness. Many users find the light uncomfortable, distracting, and at times, invasive. Furthermore, the source of the light often obstructs the user's field of view and can draw attention away from the task at hand. Additionally, the cost associated with the use of IR light is not insignificant, due to the myriad of components required.
Alleviating these pitfalls, Lenovo’s solution involves no need for the intrusive IR light. Instead, a cleverly designed wearable gadget quietly observes the reflection of the user’s eye on the inner surface of the lens. This reflection, free from IR light interference, serves as an accurate indicator of the user’s pupil position, hence, their line of sight.
In the post-problem world, Lenovo’s glasses could usher in an enhanced user experience in various fields. Imagine a gamer immersed in a wholly engaging virtual world, with characters that respond to their gaze. Or a motorist whose car, equipped with these glasses, understands their level of attentiveness and responds accordingly. Maybe it is the augmented reality headsets helping professionals, students, and hobbyists in a more intuitive and immersive interaction with their digital realm.
These examples only scratch the surface of possibilities, remember however, that even as the magical possibilities of this technology glitter with promise, it's crucial to bear in mind that it's still a patent, and that there's no certainty it will see the light of day in the market. But even so, the imagination relishes the possibilities it holds for a future where our gadgets can read our gaze as easily as a beloved friend.