Text 2.0 Uses Eye Tracking to Customize Reader Experience
Spreading like wildfire, eReading devices are changing the way we consume written materials, creating a competitive market as they become more advanced. And while many are predicting the end of the printed word as we know it, tools such as Text 2.0, a reading technology that personalizes a reader’s experience by tracking eye movements, are changing the game for the meantime.
The program uses infrared light and a camera to track eye movement on a screen and uses the data collected with the eye tracker to determine or predict a reader’s intentions as their eyes peruse the text. There are a few interesting features that could be of great help for readers – for example, if a reader takes a little more time on a certain word or phrase, eye tracking could trigger a translation, pronunciation or sound effect, a biography on a name, a definition, or an image/animation to supplement and provide meaning.
What’s really exciting is that the eye tracker can recognize when a reader is skimming text, and could potentially fade out words it deems less important or significant within the sentence. When a reader distractedly glances away from the text or takes a break from reading, a bookmark automatically appears, keeping track of where the reader stopped reading. More and more as computer users multitask through the day, this provides an elegant and effective solution to keeping tabs.
The fact is, many engineers are quickly filing patents and developing products which are set to change the way we use computers altogether. Apple Inc. is apparently interested in Text 2.0, and they’ve shown initiative in the past with their introduction of the computer mouse in 1984 and the touch screen a few years ago. More companies are willing to take a chance, which is creating a fertile environment for engineers worldwide. Keep an eye out for Text 2.0 in the next few years – it’s a pretty exciting idea, especially when you consider eye tracking provides the engine behind it.
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