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Mouse Begone: Use Head Movements And IR Instead 185

Posted by timothy
from the invest-in-3m-reflectors dept.
Gonzodoggy writes: "Saw this on my local news last night. There's a company in Oregon that is trying to eliminate the mouse as we know it. The company is called Naturalpoint. Basically, you place a reflective dot on your forehead or, for laptop users, a plastic ring on your finger. Then when you move your head or your finger, the mouse goes where you point. The demo on the news showed a gamer making the game look where he looked, allowing him to keep both hands on the keyboard" Looks like a cool idea, but very Windows only for now. So I guess I'll have to rig up a trackball underfoot, and just fool my housemates into thinking I was controlling the cursor with my changing glances.
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Mouse Begone: Use Head Movements And IR Instead

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Gyropoint makes a wireless mouse (GyroMouse) that uses digital gyroscopes for movement. You just hold the mouse and use your wrist to move the pointer. You could build the gyroscopes into a glove or mount them on your head if you wanted...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    well SHIT man, my wrist is so strong from, ahem, 'workin out'I think I'd have to agree
  • With a 24" beasty on your desk, trust me - you'll be moving yer head all over the place!
  • Hang a disco ball over your cube and just beam the ring into it... Have everyone in your office yelling in no time! :)
  • by mholve (1101) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:18PM (#336070) Homepage
    I sneezed and deleted my C:\WINDOWS directory!
  • I suppose you could call your honey 'boss'.
  • ROFL timothy!
    rig up a trackball underfoot...
    Sounds like an old prank that my older brother played on me...
    on our old atari 800xl, he wrote a program that would "identify" us by putting our hand in the cartridge slot. All he really did, though, was set it up so that if he was pushing down one key when he ran the program, it would say it was one person. If he pushed down a different one, it would say someone else.

    To me, it was some bewitchment on our atari.
  • I can just imagine using this during a hay fever spell:

    Me: Ahhh, ahhhhh, ahhhhhhhh-CHHHHHOOOOOOOO!
    Neighbor: Gesundheit.
    Guy down hall: Aw, frell! What happened to the server?!

    We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead
  • > i'm pretty sure that's never been seen before

    You could get these for the old Sage (later Stride) computers. These were 68000 machines running the UCSD system back in the early 1980s
  • by J05H (5625)
    Yeah, try doing a digital painting with that.

    "Hey, J05H, why are you twitching?"
    "I'm trying to smudge this part of the picture."

    Just doesn't work, gimme a good Wacom any day!
  • My professors used to get pr0n on their video projection systems in front of the whole class. That was always fun.
  • It'd be cool if it worked with an off-the-produce Banana sticker, instead of a high-tech dot.
  • This unit'll make it tough to listen to any music with decent beat and use your computer at the same time. ``Sorry boss. How could I have known that listening to Nine Inch Nails would delete all the files in the source directories?''


    --

  • Ok, so the movements from your head correspond to the movements on the screen, presumably a FPS. Sounds like a great idea, but of course, the sensitivity of your movement needs to be amplified, like a mouse, so you can turn all the way around (180 deg.) without being the Exorcist chick.

    That's all fine and well, but many people have problems with motion sickness with FPS's - the generally accepted theory afaik is that if since your perceived vision doesn't correspond to your body movements, you're likely under the influence of a poison and start to feel ill. The only time you think you're moving when you're not tends to be under the influence of a lot poison - drink too much alcohol, room spins, makes you vomit, etc.

    Imagine how much it would screw you up to turn your head 10 degrees and do a 360 - I imagine that this wouldn't be that far from normal usage, because you still need to be able to see the screen while you're doing all this head-wagging. Now you don't just have the discrepancy between movement and sight - you actually are moving your head and seeing your FOV change, but in a wildly exaggerated way, in both speed and accelleration.

    I don't normally have any game sickness, but I think that would make me puke pretty quick. Oh yeah - also, picture what RSI would be like in a world where people used their heads as pointing devices instead of their hands :)

    -lx
  • Wasn't there a story on this or something similar last week?
  • You call your boss honey?

    Doesn't everybody?
  • by Aggrazel (13616) <aggrazel@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:15PM (#336082) Journal
    This is not going to make it easy to click off the window downloading pr0n right as the boss walks in...

    "No really honey, I wasn't looking at her, it just popped on the screen by a virus."

    "uh huh"
  • From their projects page [naturalpoint.com]:
    Linux

    Task: Develop a driver for the Cypress EZ USBFX that works in conjunction with the system USB driver stack

    ...please email projects@naturalpoint.com [mailto]...

  • I remember a serial device that you could get for your computer that did the same thing. This was back in 85-87 time frame. I know Stride Micro resold them to use with their Stride series boxes. You attached this box to the top of your terminal and it bounced an infrared signal off of a holographic patch you stuck on your head. It looked at the reflectance level. This then was used to control your cursor. I never bought one as I couldn't justify it. I think it was between $150 and $200, but my memory is foggy on stuff that far back.

  • The mouse is getting close to 40 now, going grey, loosing its hair. I can't wait until it retires. These days my hand aches after spending a day mousing. Much as I dispise M$, I like the fact that my StinkPad has one of those little pointers in the middle which lets me move the cursor without taking my hands from the keyboard. Now if I can get a Heads Up Display with eye tracking built in, I can get eye strain.

    Which reminds me, have these people done a study on repetative stress injury for this head-tracking tech? I would imagine that there a lot of people out there who would suffer greatly from this kind of tech (a friend/fellow sysadmin is a paraplegic, but capable of head motion).

    This technology sounds also sounds like a fast way to eyestrain/neck problems. How many of you out there don't wear glasses? I have enough problems staring at VDUs all day without having to tightly control the location that I am pointing my head/eyes.
  • Might not be so good for those late night sessions ;)
    Seriously, though, what if you need to attend to something which is independant from the computer? Like if your toast is burning, and you need to whip your head around to see why it smells like your pantry exploded? What if you were lining up a shot with a sniping scope in Counterstrike just then? No good!
  • Tribes 2 and sniping with this thing... hmmmmm. Would be interesting to see how accurate it is, I'd be worried that simple natural movements would cause me to end up shooting way off.. having to keep -perfectly still- while trying to aim at someone might be a little much.

  • Best one from my college years:
    xmodmap a lab computer from across campus.

    Start slowly at first, of course... ;-) A few keys here and there...
  • While the head movements aren't very precise, the eye move ments are. Here at Clemson, in the VR lab, they're working on eye tracking, and form what I've seen, it's very effective. Instead of movine your head to move the mouse or your head to move the cross hiars, could you think of how great it would be to be able to just have your eyes look at something, and be right on target to start firing. Then those little movements that we see out of the corners of our eyes while playing Counter strike and Half life would really turn into more kills. Along with this, think of how it would be just simply being able to use the keyboard to play CS, while your eyes did the target ing for you.
  • by YoJ (20860) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:27PM (#336090) Journal
    The comment about using your foot to fool people into thinking you can move the mouse by thought made me think about some good pranks I've played on people in college.

    One fun prank with mice is to go to the computer lab and switch the cables for two adjacent computers. You sit at one computer with a mouse and wait for someone to sit next to you. Your mouse controls their cursor, and their mouse controls your cursor. You start out by watching what they are doing and trying to mimic their movements (and don't laugh!) Then you start randomly sliding one direction consistently, or moving to a different place on the screen whenever they look away. See how long it takes for them to figure it out!

    Another fun time was when we discovered that by default our lab had X permissions for anyone in the lab to connect to any display. It was great fun sending "dialog boxes" to random users that told them weird things to do to "fix" the system. For example, "WARNING! Monitor Overheat. Your monitor is overheating, please turn it off and then back on before continuing." Or make a fake "ICQ" type message that purports to come from a cute girl also in the room - see if you can get the victim to go up to the cute girl and talk to her!

  • This is actually a pretty dumb idea. People move their eyes more than their heads. I have a 21" monitor and my head doesn't move at all as I look on the screen. What are they gonna do, have a prosthesis to prevent the eyeballs to move inside their sockets???
  • The demo on the news showed a gamer making the game look where he looked, allowing him to keep both hands on the keyboard

    Had the demo shown some geek looking at PrOn whilst "hands-free", there would have been a serious business opportunity there

  • >Uh, when you look around on a monitor, do you >regularly move your head extremely fast?

    That's because your usually moving your *eyes*, not your entire head. I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to stick thier little reflective dot on my eyeball...
  • that part in THHGTG...

    "For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive -- you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular ependiture, of course, but meant you had to sit infuriatingly still is you wanted to keep listening to the same program."

    truth is stranger than fiction, right?

  • Alright, now replacing the mouse with something that looks wherever you look is certainly cool, but this is not a promising solution. When I am using my computer, most of the time my head is stationary. It is my EYES that do the moving. It's going to get very tiring to precisely position my entire scull every time I want to move the mouse.

    A better approch would be to follow my eye-movement in relation to my head and the monitor. This would require some pretty fancy cameras to get the detail level one would need, but it would be really cool, don't you think? :-)

  • Sorta like how dust puppy from user friendly plays quake =:-)
  • soon we will have to wear letters on our foreheads to identify ourselves in multi-user set-ups, collabarative efforts between two people with similar names might require different color letters, hence the scarlet letter...

    Maybe Listers H was related to this...

  • Xmouse has been available for Win95 and later since the OS came out. It was in the Powertoys Collection, along with deskmenu and other useful little toys.

    It doesn't seem to be available for Win2k, but TweakUI seems to be doing most of the PowerToys functions now.

    dave
  • I wonder if this technology will suffer from the same drawbacks of those gloves for the PSX and SNES gaming systems, which was that they were fantastic when used on a TV the size of a wall (like in all the demos) but on a standard 51cm it was a dog to try and control... I like the idea of playing a 3d shooter with a wall projected image and this tech ;)
  • This is a bad idea. I can't see how this wouldn't cause you an Repetive Stress Injury (RSI) to your neck. Especially if you have a large screen (21" +) monitor. You just don't screw with the nerves in your neck. It's not natural to move your head all around when you are looking at a computer screen. Do you do this when you are watching a movie? Do you do this when you are reading a book?

    No. It's your EYES that move and THAT'S what needs to be tracked. Maybe a pair of reflective contact lenses? That would be too much trouble. Actually, the pupils are naturally reflective (hence red-eye in photographs). Could they key on those? That would seem most logical. The eyes are very good at tracking.
  • Sage computer that made 68000 based computers had one of these years ago. They put a reflective dot on the end of a straw. You stick the straw on your ear and could point.
  • >do you regularly move your head extremely fast?

    I don't need to because I can just move my eyes. Big difference.

  • Since you usually don't swing your whole head around to look around your screen, this is gonna cause a whole lot of neck pain. Too bad, cool idea.
  • From http://www.naturalpoint.com/dev/projects.htm [naturalpoint.com]:

    Task: Develop a driver for the Cypress EZ USBFX that works in conjunction with the system USB driver stack.

    If you are interested in joining this team or have suggestions please email [mailto]

  • The head/neck wasn't designed for many, rapid, precise movements all day long[...]

    Well, actually, the lips and tongue would seem to offer the most axes of motion in the general area, and judging by many people I know they can be run continuously.

    Surely, the indignity of sitting making monkey faces into a computer monitor for hours on end is preferable to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or in this case perhaps a sprained neck from playing Quake, as well as for ease and precise control alone. Though it might not help the public "geek" image much.

    Imagine the new dawn that could be coming; the mouth contortions proud young computer users would display on greeting as a demonstration of their lingual dexterity; Tourette Syndrome sufferers no longer discriminated aganst in a world of functional facial tics and involuntary noises; special oral piercings and jewelry designed to give better tracking and S/N ratios all the rage.

    Interface these to cellphones for WAP control, and there would be the added bonus of watching drivers or passers-by providing entertainment for others in nearly all modern social situations.
  • The head/neck wasn't designed for many, rapid, precise movements all day long (say, at work). The hand/wrist/arm was.
    Heh heh heh. ;-)


    ------------
    CitizenC
  • but what selfrespecting geek is going to wear one of those dot thingies on thier head?
  • Who moves there head around to look at stuff on their computer monitor. Try this out for five seconds and you'll see how annoying this is. A successful device will need to go off eye movements.
  • > having to keep -perfectly still- while trying to > aim at someone might be a little much.

    That would make it much more realistic. Same goes for the hiccups, coughing, sneezing, etc. When you are in a dangerous situation, any of these could get you killed.
  • With regard to this systems use in first-person shooters, turning / looking would be quite hard.

    What if you quickly want to execute a 180 degree turn? Do you whip your head around and then back again (I can just see a new wave of computer-related injuries)? Or do you have to look at the edge of the screen and wait for the view to turn around?

    It wouldn't be much of an improvement over keyboard-only quake. Anyone that figures out how to use a mouse with a FPS quickly jumps ahead of most keyboard users.

    This would be good in MechWarrior though. Your targeting crosshair would follow the enemy 'mech you're looking at on the screen.
  • First time I saw that technology was on the Atari VCS 2600... the controller was called Headmounted controller or Thought Controller IIRC, but as soon as was demoed it quickly fell in Vaporware territory.

  • Anybody else notice they said hi to /. readers? I think this might end up hurting our necks or hands.
  • Technically very few parts of the body were designed to do many, rapid, pricise movements repetively. You will have problems with the neck and your wrists/hands/arms.

    The underlieing technology doesn't seem the complicate. I think I/R triangulation is what they you. I think a glove setup might work better. To press a button you'd just click touch your finger to your palm and the I/R device would be on the top of your hand.

  • Just what I need... Thoracic Outlet Syndrome [nih.gov] (carpel tunnel of the neck)!
    ---
  • by Nexx (75873) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:30PM (#336115)
    <zealot>You make that sound like it's a bad thing!</zealot>
    --
  • Is this like the radio in HGTTG where you can wave your hand in the air to tune in a station... but you have to keep your hand in that position to keep the station, otherwise when you move the signal will change again...

    -----
  • Posted on March 18th

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/03/18/153820 2&mode=thread [slashdot.org]

    Nothing like a bit of internal communication, huh.

  • this could be a viable option. but imagine playing quake with mouselook on using this... look to the right... your screen follows but you're looking to the right of your monitor. move your head to look back at the screen... you're right back to where you started. How would you overcome this little quirk other than developing really really good perephrial vision?
  • I turn my head to look around a corner in Quake, and suddenly... I am looking away from the monitor. This kind of gadget has been around for years in numerous incarnations (Even for the original Nintendo Entertainment System.) and always fails for the same reason: there is only one, small, stationary screen.

    Beyond that, if you are sitting in one place, constantly moving one's head around to view parts of a screen is a bit annoying.
  • Cybernet Systems Corp makes a similar system, except it tracks your head (side-to-side, up-and-down movements) without the need for a dot on your forehead. Uses a normal webcam (windows only, sorry). So its nice and cheap. Visit the web site [useyourheadsw.com] for more info about how this can be used in a game. (Eye tracking doesn't work at all in an action game, but shifting your head side to side does).

    Ron Hay
    Turing Machinist
    Cybernet Systems Corp
    Current project: Edge of Extinction [edgeofextinction.com] -- free massive-multiplayer game. Release in a couple of days.
  • Wintermute, I'd like to talk to you about your experiences with this technology. A friend of mine is now C5, and I'd like to get him back on the net. Drop me a note if you have a moment. andy@lee-turk.com
  • And a mass "oooo I don't feel so good" once in a hour...

    --
  • by Wiggin (97119)
    so, does that mean that when i am looking at nice pictures at home that my browser window is going to be jumping all around?
  • Oh goodie! My wrists are already shot. Lets start working on my neck now.
  • I wonder why India didn't come up with this technology first you would think a lot of them are already equipt with the appropriate dot.
  • A dot on your forhead or ring on your right hand? This must be the mark of the beast!! And the beast is....the computer??
  • Boston College has also been involved with this type of research. For more info, check out http://www.cs.bc.edu/~gips/CM/

  • Didn't we see this before, only instead of IR, it used RF?? Anywho... I'd love to see someone in the middle of CS or Quake bobbing their head around with one of these... Prolly look like someone in anaphalactic(sp?) shock. heh.

  • MAjor price difference though. $1000 for the older technology,
  • Yes because a sniper keeping perfectly still while trying to aim at someone is absolutely ridiculous.
  • At least until they can put a sensor on my eyes. Personally, I don't move my head enough for this to work. Of course, it could be just me. All alone. By myself. An outcast. Hey, you don't need to rub it in! Why is everybody always picking on me?
  • Is it just me or does the wand look exactly like a Photon Microlight?

    http:\\www.photonlight.com

    Great little design, I guess it was bound to be copied.

  • > Basically, you place a reflective dot on your forehead

    India has had this 'technology' for centuries. As this photo [yspark.com] proves.
    --

  • >I'd much rather have something that can watch my eyeballs,
    > but then again, while I'm reading a webpage, my mouse would continually
    > be hovering over the text I'm reading.

    Interesting point. But would it be true. After all, any object that doesn't move around on the retina vanishes. I'd read about his in a couple of text books, but never experienced it until I was trying to out-stare a dog. We were gazing at each other for several minutes when slowly my vision started to fade to grey. The scene on my retna hadn't changed, so it was compensating for what it thought was an optical artifact.

    So if your eye-tracking mouse was so good that it didn't shift or shimmer as you moved your eyes, I think it would vanish after a couple of minutes. Only to reappear in inverse colours the moment you look away from the screen.
    --

  • A net connected app, the people place reflective dots in certain strategic positions on their bodies, and voila! Let's dance (or whatever ;-)

    Going on means going far
    Going far means returning
  • Your HR department must be considerably more lax when dealing with sexual harassment cases. :)
  • I had a similar problem with my touch screen Windows only driver.
    I got an old 486 ans used it on that. I then connected to my other machines via VNC and was able to use the touch sensitive bit with Unix & plan9.

    Another benefit is you can use any windows compatible VGA card too.

    If you use soemthing beefier than a 486 you could run WeirdX (http://www.jcraft.com/weirdx/) which is a Java X Client

    Another benefit is playing mp3s in Windows so you don't use those valuable cycles - no more choppy sound!
    .oO0Oo.

  • This is ridiculous. Input devices need to move towards the more natural: stylus on screen, voice commands, eyeball tracking... not the bizarre.

    When do we ever use our heads for anything like this? It's completely unnatural. The mouse is bad enough. My neck gets tired just thinking about this possibility.

    -Erik
  • I'm just not certain I could bring myself to purchase a control device called HEADMASTER. What would the neighbors think? :P
  • "Basically, you place a reflective dot on your forehead "

    I want to see how the marketing people deal with this little issue.
  • ...this ignores the research being done to control the pointer with your eyes. I've seen demos where the pointer will follow where you look, and you can blink to click. Very strange stuff indeed, but nicely functional.
  • Hey, it's research, not ready for market by any means! This was the obvious question we all had, but still, it was neat to see...
  • Yes, you're quite right. I actually live in Corvallis where this technology is being created, and it was quite funny watching late night news at 11pm.... they actually had a story!

    Anyway, both the demo and most of the info seem to imply that it's primary use would be games (read: Quake III and other FPS), since it adds a new level of excitement and realism. It's true that just doing day-to-day running of the operating system would be both painful and boring with it, although this isn't to say that nobody gets repitive movement injuries from using a mouse... also another use of the technology would be for those unable to use normal mice due to some sort of physical issue (no/disabled arms, etc.).

  • May I just comment on the fact that the hardware specs and device interface specs are just available on the site? Why bother with: "This will be only Windows software for now", when it's quite easy to write a driver for this stuff?

    Admitted, I've not written a driver before for Linux or BSD yet, but I assume it shouldn't be too hard if the specs are public available.

    At least this makes it quite a lot easier than to write a driver for nvidea chipsets.
  • So people can look forward to suffering permenant brain damage instead of carpal tunnel syndrome as they flail their heads around trying to move a pointer on the screen?
  • I think the movments would be very suttle. So I don't hink the effetc on the neck would be that bad. maybe even less than on the wrist from using a mouse.

    The big bonus is, you'ld have both hands on the keyboard.

  • yeah, just like the tiring proccess o moving your habd each time.

    I'm not sure why everyone one sem to waqnt eye traking. I think it would be very strange, and annoying in some cases to have to look exactly where u want ur mouse to go. Quite oftern, I fix my eyes on something, and move my mouse without looking at the curor, maily in grphic applications, when I'm looking at the object moving, and not the mouse cursor at all.

    Also, I think alot of people think that using this new pointing device would involve you doing movments that resembled head banging to music or something.
    I'm not sure where that comes from, casue with a mouse, you only make suttle movments, depending on ur mouse setting.

  • here [speedslair.com] is a MCSE demonstrating the new windos XP "Head Up" interface.

  • The ad had a head shot of a guy sitting at his computer (a Mac... all 128k) with this thing like Rio headphones on his head. He was wearing glasses and his tie was positioned like it was being windblown over his shoulder. And he looked dorky.

    It is possible that the technology has progressed so that this type of contraption is useful, but tracking head movements are a bad way to input x:y data. Tracking eye movements is a much better idea.

    When typing this comment, I moved my head hardly any, but my eyes were all over the place.
  • by Nidhogg (161640) <shr,thanatos&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:30PM (#336161) Journal
    Heh. I had the same concern with sniping in Half-life TFC.

    To make things worse imagine having the hiccups while playing with this thing responding to your forehead.

    "Dude. What the hell are you shooting at?"
    "Shut up! I've got the fscking hiccups!"

  • of course, how the hell would you click and drag? or highlight something with your eyes closed?
  • by Golias (176380) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:30PM (#336169)
    I know somebody who had a stroke and lost the use of almost everything. He has been using a head-mounted laser-pointer as his ONLY interface for years now. (He types using a fuzzy-logic driven selection system like Stephen Hawkings uses... point at a letter, and a menu of your most common words comes up, which changes as you select more letters; select a word, and the menu gives you likely phrases, etc.) It's time-consuming to type that way, but as a mouse-pointer the gadget works like a champ.

    While it has been a boon to those with disabiliies, a gadget like this for the rest of us would probably reduce RSI quite a bit. As much as people complain about keyboards, unergonomic mouse techniques are probably responsible for at least as many injuries.

  • I can move pikachu with my mind [gamespy.com]!
  • The real problem with eye-movement-based systems is that, when you're looking at something, your eye is often focused on a point near the object, and not the object itself.

    That's why this technology is currently only being used by people with disabilities, and the "buttons" are huge.
  • It's called a head mouse (sort of like the head crabs in Half Life, but you control them instead of vice-versa). They were developed for people who have carpal tunnel / RSIs.

    I once saw an interview with somebody using one - they found it easier than a normal mouse for average (business) work, and alright for games like StarCraft. Clicking was done with your foot (too bad it wasn't by tilting your head forward into a blunt object). The only real complaint he had was when playing Quake: he couldn't look around 'cause then he couldn't aim - so he got fragged. And he couldn't aim because he had to look around to see if people were coming from other directions - he got fragged again!

    I can't be karma whoring - I've already hit 50!

  • What happens when you turn your head 90 degrees so you can look next to yourself in a game. Sounds pretty limiting for gaming, unless you have a nice 4 monitor setup.

    The alignment process can't be too comfortable if you have something attached to your head. You can't move around in your chair.

    I'd much rather have something that can watch my eyeballs, but then again, while I'm reading a webpage, my mouse would continually be hovering over the text I'm reading.
  • What happens when you turn your head 90 degrees so you can look next to yourself in a game. Sounds pretty limiting for gaming, unless you have a nice 4 monitor setup.

    I've tested this product before, it scales the motion so that you don't need to move your head very far. By the time you reach the edge of the screen you can turn around two or three times in counter-strike. Every once in a while you need to shift yourself back over, but not very often.

    The alignment process can't be too comfortable if you have something attached to your head. You can't move around in your chair.

    The dot is very light weight and once you've had it on for a few minutes its easy to forget about it. The alignment process takes a total of five seconds, and so if you shift far in your chair then you just trigger it to realign. That part of the driver was working very well when I last saw it.

    I'd much rather have something that can watch my eyeballs, but then again, while I'm reading a webpage, my mouse would continually be hovering over the text I'm reading.

    There are precise eye tracking devices available, in fact this company has one that they sell to disabled people. But that kind of device has a price tag around $2000. They designed the dot tracker to be much cheaper: $50-$100 was the price estimate I heard when I was testing for them. (Side note: with a really precise eye tracking system, you don't need a mouse cursor. You know where you are looking, right? That's really cool to work with.) So while the dot tracker isn't the answer for total VR, it's pretty good and reasonably affordable.

    The one place I think this device will be really handy is for console systems. The main reason I wouldn't ever want to play Quake/Half-Life/Any other 3D shooter on a PS2 or other system is the lack of a mouse. But I've played counter-strike using this for looking and a gravis game pad for movement and everything else, and that works very well.

  • by NineNine (235196) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:16PM (#336199)
    I don't think that this would be very useful. The head/neck wasn't designed for many, rapid, precise movements all day long (say, at work). The hand/wrist/arm was. Besides, I'd much rather have repetitive stress in my write than in my neck.

  • Doesn't this take us back to the 0-click shopping patent?
  • by flynt (248848) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:32PM (#336204)
    You call your boss honey?
  • Goodbye Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, welcome neck injuries, back injuries, headaches.

    anonyminity [antioffline.com]
  • by Eoli (320216) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:16PM (#336223)
    Check out Headmaster Plus [worklink.net]. I work in adaptive technology and this kind of stuff has been going on for a few years now.
  • by Eoli (320216) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:21PM (#336224)
    There are other systems out there that can do similar things with eye movement, so you can save your neck.

    Some good research [stanford.edu] from Stanford.

    A practical demonstration [eyegaze.com].

    Some people have no choice but to use such devices unfortunately.
  • by Eoli (320216) on Tuesday March 27, 2001 @01:24PM (#336225)
    Just bang your head on the desk twice in rapid succession. Most computer users do this a few times a day anyway.
  • ahoy, just wanted to point out that the software has an option called "key activated clicking," so that the cursor doesn't move unless you hold down a key. lots of other hot keys too. and the ability to add customized hotkeys... (ECT employee)

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