There's not much that could cause me to take notice of Kelloggs Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. I mean, the TV advertising tends to the annoying, and has been for years. The campaign around "people making noises eating cornflakes in inconvenient places" has certainly not got the impact likely to make you WANT to watch the advert.
So to grab my attention on YouTube, it took something pretty special.
We refer throughout this site to eye tracking getting smaller and more portable, and Kelloggs have made use of this in creating a game controlled via your eyes, which is currently advertised on YouTube. Check it out here...
We didn't have anything to do with this one - but we rather wish we had!!
How does it work?
The premise is pretty simple, really. The game takes control of your webcam, and uses this to feed in images of where you're looking. So when you look at the bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes, the game detects this (in techie parlance, the cornflakes are an "Area of Interest" or AOI), and it can then react. In the case of the game, when you look at the cornflakes, you lose.
Underpinning this are some complex image analysis (so that it can recognise your eyes from all the other stuff going on around you), maths (to work out where your eyes are pointing) and development to pull it all together and make it happen.
The type of data returned from something like a webcam isn't the most accurate - particularly running over the internet. Modern eye trackers will detect between 30 and 120 changes per second, and a webcam simply can't live up to this. Plus, the advanced functionality of an eye tracker simply isn't possible over a webcam with image processing.
What are the applications?
Games is an obvious application, but there's many many more. Controlling software via eye movements, linking eye movement data to feedback - the only limit to applications which can be considered is your imagination! Then how about mobile? Using the user's phone or tablet webcam instead of their PC.
At Sett, we're experienced in developing software to process eye tracking data, and we work with some great clients who always keep us on our toes with new ideas and creations - so we'd love to hear ideas for cool projects around using eye tracking to control applications or games, or as part of a marketing approach.
So if you've got a cool idea, get in touch!