Eyegaze or eye tracking is a computer access method for persons with disabilities who cannot access a computer by a regular mouse and keyboard or touchscreen. Unfortunately it may be difficult for anyone to obtain an eye tracking device because of their high cost. However, a new Samsung EYECAN+ open source technology design is introduced (November 25, 2014-Samsung Tomorrow). This means that we may see less expensive eye tracking devices available in near future.
The recent Samsung EYECAN + mouse has a more enhanced design compared to the previous design introduced in 2012. EYECAN+ requires the user to be situated between 24 in (60cm) and 27 in (70cm) from the monitor, but it does not require glasses. Instead, it is a unit sits below the monitor and calibrates with the user’s eye and is wireless. It looks that you can sit or lay down to access computer and simulate a mouse click with an eye blink by focusing the eyes on a certain icon and selecting it.
At this time, Samsung has no plans to commercialize the EYECAN+, but instead, will donate a few devices to some charitable organizations. Generously, Samsung will make its technology design open source. This means that some hardware manufacturers can produce eye tracking devices with less cost. One article says it may be produced for around $500. This is quite a bit less than eye tracking devices on the market as of today. For example, the new design of Samsung EYECAN + has a similar design to a device called PC Eye from Tobii that costs approx. $2000 for a Windows 8 system or $4000 for a spinal cord injury solution model.
The Vice President of Community relations at Samsung said, “The EYECAN+ is the result of a voluntary project initiated by Samsung’s engineers, and reflects their passion and commitment to engage more people in our community” (from News 360).
For more information about the new Samsung EYECAN +, go to this link, Samsung Electronics Introduces EYECAN+.
If you want to know more about EYECAN projects in the past, you may be interested in youtube videos: Samsung’s eyeCan + and Eyewriter: Co-writing a Recipe for Collaboration| SDF 2013 and Eyecan test in 2012. You can also find about Eyewriter project at NotImpossiblelabs.