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An innovative technology is being pioneered by researchers at Texas Instruments and Carnegie Mellon University — and it’s quite something to see.  Gaze concurrence — the line of sight created when two people look at each other, is the basis of this new technology.  Your next iPhone or iPad could be equipped with the visual gaze detection capability, so let’s explore more about what it is and how it’s going to impact your personal and professional life.

The technology is made possible by the development of a computer algorithm that accurately predicts where two or more people’s gazes will intersect.  In trials, the distance measured was within centimeters of the actual distance.  The tests were in fact, quite rigorous.  Gaze detection technology was evaluated in three different situations: a party with multiple guests and activities including ping-pong, a musical performance and a meeting of two different workgroups.  As you can imagine, the results help inform social patterns and behavior, and could have wider applicability to all industries.

Samsung provided funding for the development of the gaze detection technology.  Now that the research team has developed the fundamental algorithm for gaze detection in 3-dimensions, the next step is to determine what applications can best use the technology in the real world.  A variety of industries could benefit from it, including security, surveillance, law enforcement and military applications.  But it’s not all business.  Sports teams and other group recreational groups may also be able to improve the strategy and outcome of their games as a result.

Will the technology be coming to your local electronics store next month?  Probably not, say the members of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics team. The gaze detection concept is still in research and development, but the team doesn’t expect it to be too long before can purchase other related technologies similar to Google Glass’s wearable cameras.  Developing the technology and making it smaller and capable of being handheld or worn discreetly is becoming more and more possible as computer technology advances.

In fact, Apple just filed an application to patent the gaze detection technology in devices on May 30.  Handheld devices equipped with the feature would allow a user to control a video feed.  When a user looks away from the screen, the gaze detection technology could pause for example, and resume playing when the user looks at it again.  Some mobile devices already have eye-scrolling technology, but the gaze detection technology has much more depth of application.  Individuals with visual, spoken or tactile communication disabilities can benefit from gaze detection technology.  Such an innovative technology could literally bring technology within the reach of everyone.

What do you think  of gaze detection technology?