SMI Shows First Eye Tracking Upgrade for Augmented Reality Glasses

At the 2015 Siggraph Conference, SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) shows the world’s first Eye Tracking Integration for augmented reality, based on Epson’s Moverio BT-200 see-through head mounted display and on SMI’s mobile eye tracking platform.

With this new solution, unprecedented quality and efficiency is brought to personalized visualization and to multi-modal, hands-free interaction with context-sensitive displays. For the first time, professionals and researchers can integrate gaze, and visual attention in AR applications.

SMI will demonstrate the solution at Siggraph in Los Angeles, booth 1022, August 11-13, 2015.

One critical component for a good AR user experience is the ability to accurately overlay and add content to objects, as if pinning it to them. To achieve this, precise knowledge about the users’ physiognomy and gaze is required. SMI’s advanced eye tracking algorithms offer this quality and add continuous adaption of the visualization to the user’s biometric information, replacing current cumbersome and error-prone display calibration routines.

Visual orientation, search and inspection procedures are often crucial, yet error-prone, tasks in manufacturing, logistics, technical service, medical and other professional fields. Gaze-sensitive information processing supports tasks by exploiting the user’s attention, e.g. by providing “in-the-loop” gaze guidance during procedures that are quality-sensitive and visually complex. This can be done by structuring, guiding and monitoring the search, and the visual intake progress. Eye tracking enables objective assessment and documentation of what is seen. Gaze overlay also allows for transfer of expertise and can make expert knowledge and procedures explicit and transparent to others.

With eye tracking in AR Displays, context sensitive information can be provided to the user exactly when he needs it, where he needs it. Superimposing information and instructions onto real objects, gives the user access to instant ‘at-a-glance’ and on-demand information, such as condition of cargo, health data of patients, or performance data of machines. SMI’s eye tracking integration into multimodal interaction helps to realize convenient, hands-free device and application operation in these challenging situations and environments.

“I believe that eye-tracking is one of the last remaining critical interaction mechanisms that will enable digital eyewear to be intuitive for end users and SMI is the clear leader in this space.” says Pete Wassell, CEO and Co-Founder of Augmate.

Professor Dr. Thomas Schack, who leads the research group “Neurocognition and Action – Biomechanics” (NCA) at the Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interactive Technology (CITEC) at Bielefeld University: “SMI’s AR eye tracking is the technology platform that helps us realize a unique research project at CITEC, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. ADAMAAS focuses on the development of a mobile adaptive assistance system in the form of intelligent glasses.”

”SMI Eye Tracking for Augmented Reality Glasses completes our broad range of innovative eye tracking solutions for researchers and developers.“ says Eberhard Schmidt, Managing Director at SMI. “ Many AR applications need and will greatly benefit from eye tracking for visualization and interaction purposes. With this latest addition, our eye tracking platform spans all relevant display categories from desktop over handheld and mobile to HMD and Smartglasses for VR and AR. According to market researchers, the AR smartglass market will grow tremendously to 100 million units in 2018 and it will be as big as the smartphone market in 10 years. We think that eye tracking will be of critical importance to equip AR devices and applications with the high-quality user experience to reach such numbers.”

The SMI AR Eye Tracking upgrade package to the Moverio BT-200 comes with an SDK for easy creation of and integration with applications for the rapidly growing smart glasses and augmented reality applications market. Among other functionalities, the SMI SDK allows access to real-time streaming of gaze data synchronized with the AR display content.

SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) is a world leader in eye tracking technology, developing and marketing eye & gaze tracking solutions for scientists and professionals, OEM and medical solutions for a wide range of applications. Find out more at Follow @SMIeyetracking on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter.

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