Hands-Free Page Turning

For people who can’t lift a finger to turn the page on their ebooks, a solution is at hand. Seoul based technology company Visual Camp has adapted their eye tracking algorithms to an ebook reader. (Video, embedded below.) Reportedly this is the first time an ebook reader has been so equipped.

If your eye lingers on the page turn button, it will turn the page. While this particular application seems innocuous, some of the other applications being touted seem a little contrived if not invasive. For example, applying gaze analysis while you are reading a book, they claim to be able to make targeted recommendations for other books.

We’ve discussed eye tracking devices before, but they have utilized hardware. Visual Camp claims their AI-based technology only requires a color camera and can be integrated into existing camera-equipped devices, such an this ebook reader. They also offer a SDK for developers who want to add eye tracking control into their apps. Eye tracking is hard, though, and the devil is in the details. It’d be neat to see what they’re up to.

10 thoughts on “Hands-Free Page Turning

    1. Got to wonder how accurate it can possible be.. I know I when thinking on something I will stare at a space in front of me, and have no real clue exactly what it would be… So while reading a book it could be because I’m trying to figure out the ending of the mystery from the available clues for instance (though that’s a sign of a book that is interesting enough to keep reading, but not engaging enough to really grab – if its really well written managing to take that pause to really think about it only happens if the tea cup runneth dry).

      Its bound to reveal subconscious bias when doing something like selecting a video to watch from thumbnails rather well – you are actively engaged on the process, but books – I at least read them at a pretty consistent pace to the end of a chapter or other natural break point, I don’t really see where gaze tracking will help there, surely all it will throw up is that double take if you miss-read a word, stumble over the miss-print or get lost in a long tangled sentence like this one and have to start again to make sense of it, though I probably, no certainly need to make it longer still for real emphasis, alright I think that’s enough extra padding it out…

  1. Hands-free page turning might seem like the pinnacle of laziness. OK, maybe it is. But sometimes laziness is a virtue! I’ve set up a monitor over my bed to read while going to sleep. So far, eye tracking works best because it’s the least involved input method. Since you’re already using your eyes to read, you can let the rest of your body relax. And once your eyes are too tired to go on, simply close them and everything will shut down.

  2. One of the problems with reading on a small screen is the arms get tired and cramped up holding the thing in the same place.
    With something like this I could prop the screen on a stand, and move my arms around so wouldn’t wreck my shoulders, etc.

    (A bluetooth “turn” button would be another alternative.)

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