Next Up for Tablets: Eye-Control Technology?

NPR reporter says it's 'pretty amazing'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 3, 2012 6:10 PM CST

(Newser) – One day you may open apps with the blink of an eye. That's the wish of tech experts in Copenhagen, who are already using eye-control technology for people with disabilities, NPR reports. The only glitch: Tablets don't yet have infrared light that can pick up eye movements. But advocates say it might not be too expensive if it's mass-marketed. "I hope our children will look back on us and think, 'Oh my God, it was so hard back then to use a computer. You had to sit down in front of it all day!'" says the head of a Danish research group.

Guided by a founder of a Danish eye-control company, an NPR reporter tried it out—with Fruit Ninja. The reporter admitted that "I feel like an unpracticed superhero with lasers coming out of my eyes," but playing the game was "pretty amazing." For disabled people currently stuck with older technology, like voice control, amazing would be an understatement: "I can go to any computer, and then I can control it" with eye-control technology, says an advocate for the disabled. "So I'll be a part of society on an equal foot, instead of being a special solution."

A man controls his mp3 player with his eyes at the Mobile World congress in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010.
A man controls his mp3 player with his eyes at the Mobile World congress in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
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