New eye tracker on the playing field: BLiNK
New eye trackers come out every couple of months. Most of them follow the same basic design–a mobile, head mounted device that is either strapped around one’s forehead or connected to a pair of specially designed glasses, or a stationary unit either sitting alone on a desk or attached to a computer monitor. Communication and Mobility Systems (CMS), introduced a brand new eye tracker that has a unique feature.
(don’t worry; they come with their own lens-less pair for those of us blessed with perfect vision). This feature makes the device very small, and it can be removed from the glasses and slipped into a shirt pocket for easy transport. Additionally, the BLiNK system is wireless and lightweight, so it shouldn’t make your glasses cumbersome.
The technology is similar to other eye trackers on the market. Infrared light illuminates the user’s eye while a very small camera takes pictures of it to track movement. The BLiNK device sends information to a computer and is currently compatible with the latest Windows systems and will soon be available for Mac systems as well.
Like many other eye trackers, BLiNK was originally designed to help the disabled. When Founder Devon Greco’s father was diagnosed with ALS, the concept for BLiNK was born. It’s not limited to that market, though, and their website claims the system could be used for personal computer control, gaming, market research, corporations, sports research, and health care organizations as well as the disabled market.
CMS plans on using Kickstarter, a web-based funding platform to help creative projects get the money they need to start up, to get BLiNK off the ground. With a little bit of community involvement, this device could start growing rapidly and become available to a wide variety of audiences.
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