Eye Tracking Technology May Revolutionize The Written Word

With Text 2.0 and Eye Tracking technology, words on e-readers will react based on a user’s reading habits.

Using eye tracking technology, the words on tablet PCs and e-readers can react based on how a reader views the text. This technology monitors the eyes of the reader to define words if they stare at them, eliminates non-essential information when skimming through pages, swaps images based on what’s being read, and brings up relevant reference materials to particular words.

With Apple reportedly purchasing this technology from a Swedish firm, we may see eye tracking in future versions of the iPad. Experts believe that this smart text, also called Text 2.0, may revive the act of book reading in a whole new form.

Wired reports:

These are still early days for Text 2.0. The hardware is still bulky and expensive (the Tobii x120 costs tens of thousands of dollars, with the price depending on volume), but hardware prices drop precipitously when technology migrates from specialised fields, like helping paraplegics control things, to general fields, like reading.

To encourage software development in this area, DFKI posted a plug-in that e-book developers can use to experiment with the new format’s possibilities using eye-tracking hardware or a mouse pointer simulating the reader’s gaze (see video).

Traditionalists will surely wonder why words need to see us, and they have a point. But if one believes in the magic of prose, one shouldn’t have a problem with it becoming more magical, and that’s precisely what Text 2.0 promises to do.

Below is a video on how Text 2.0 works:



Wired:”Eye-tracking tablets and the promise of Text 2.0″

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