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SCE Patents 3D “Eye Tracking Contact Lenses”, Gaze Control

November 12, 2012 Written by Sebastian Moss

Sony wants to track your tongue, they want to track your body, they want to track your emotions, and now they want to track your eyes.

PSLS has exclusively uncovered (why this matters) a Sony Computer Entertainment patent for “magnetized eye tracking contact lenses” to create an eye-controlled interface.

As shown in the image above, a headset may also be needed to sense the magnets in the contact lenses, but the patent describes an IR camera as a possible alternative. The contact lenses themselves are quite high-tech, with one embodiment including a “medium, active material, control circuitry, power source, and one or more antenna elements.” Blink tracking is also detailed, with both blinks and eye movement mentioned as possible control methods for the computer interface. A separate SCE patent PSLS has uncovered that covers gaze control, but without contact lenses, mentions several uses for eye controls, including a game one:

Gaze control gaming is already viable, with systems developed for those with disabilities, but the costs are extremely high. Meanwhile, “contact lenses can offer highly accurate eye tracking information at low cost”. Head movement is also generally not possible without ruining the eye tracking, while these patents aim to track head movement and eye movement.

A user’s ear lobes may be tracked along with other features.

Perhaps what is even more interesting is that Sony mentions the possibility of the magnetic contact lenses being used for 3D viewing. “Contact lenses in embodiments can be passive (e.g., utilizing color or polarity for 3D viewing) or active, for example, using a liquid crystal layer that is normally transparent but darkens when a voltage is applied.”

3D glasses are currently a huge turn off for consumers, but is a contact lens-based option really the solution? Share your thoughts in the comments below.