Eye Control Coming To iPods And Music Players...One Day

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News Posted: Tue, Oct 13 2009 6:36 AM
Here's the thing--having a phone that plays music, or even an iPod, is great. And it's really great if you've got the time to establish playlists that you never need to touch once you hit "play" that first time and head out for the morning. But what about for everyone else? Everyone else is stuck fiddling with volume controls, back/forward buttons and all sorts of other tweaks in order to find musical enjoyment, and NTT DoCoMo realizes just what a hassle all of that has become.

The Japanese telecommunications firm has showcased recently a new breakthrough technology that could very well change the way we listen to music on the go. Not since the introduction of the original iPod have we been able to say that with a straight face, but it's true. The new eye-recognition demo essentially enables music listeners to flick their eyes to the left/right to move a track forward/back, while looking up or down briefly could lower or raise volume. It's controlling music with your eyes, and it's brilliant.

The system was shown off this past week at the Ceatec trade show in Japan, though it did require a dedicated camera to watch the eyes. We're hoping that a commercialized version of this (should it ever arrive) would be able to use bone conducting technology or something else in order to detect eye movements. Hmm, maybe the age of mind and body control really is upon us?
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3vi1 replied on Tue, Oct 13 2009 7:58 AM

Doesn't seem very practical at this point. You trade pressing a button with your hands for the much more restrictive "having to sit in front of a camera".

The first line makes me wonder: does anyone else actually use their phone as their MP3 player?

I sure don't: I have a Motorola Razr, and the entire battery discharges in about an hour if I use it as an MP3 player... and thanks to the way they designed it with a single micro-USB connector, you can't use headphones and recharge it at the same time. Genius design *sigh*.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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ClemSnide replied on Tue, Oct 13 2009 3:34 PM

I told my friends at Associated Services for the Blind about this.

We're underwhelmed.

"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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Lol, I know I shouldn't be laughing, but hilarious comment! Big Smile

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I think you hit the nail on the head.

I want two things from my phone. Great call quality and decent battery life. I don't use 80% of the features listed on it. Sure, a camera is useful, but most phone cameras offer very poor performance.

This kind of eye tracking technology would be great for paralyzed individuals, but quite useless outside of it. Moreover, it would be a nuisance.

Imagine a TV remote control that is equipped with the same tech. Your eye movements up/down can be used to change the channels and left/right to change volume. The phone rings and you look to the right to pick it up. And suddenly the volume has turned to maximum and you can barely hear the other person on the phone.

Another example would be people who use mp3 players while exercising. Would you rather keep your eyes on the road or focus on trying to skip to the right song. May cause a lot of bicycle/pedestrian collisions.

Still, the technology has its uses, I'm not sure if it's with mp3 players.

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