Eye tracking technology leader SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) from Germany today reveals an impressive piece of technology for user experience studies and gaze interaction applications in virtual environments. SMI developed the first 3D glasses with full eye tracking capability in a partner project with Volfoni, leading provider of 3D solutions. Thanks to Volfoni's ActiveEye™ technology, the new smart glasses combine mobile eye tracking with realistic 3D user experience. This gives completely new insights into a user’s interaction, for example while navigating through virtual urban spaces or while looking at 3D product designs. With its full head and motion tracking support, the technology is a milestone for real-time gaze interaction with virtual avatars or 3D gaming applications. The SMI Eye Tracking Glasses for virtual environment applications are presented this week at the SD&A trade show, the most important gathering of the stereoscopic imaging industry, held in San Francisco.
SMI Eye Tracking Glasses (smivision.com) are worn like a normal pair of glasses. Eye tracking is accomplished by two small cameras on the rim of the glasses while a scene camera records the field of view of the user. For real 3D experience of the wearer and full immersion into the virtual environment, active stereo glasses using Volfoni’s ActiveEye™ technology are integrated with the eye tracking hardware. The eye tracker also detects the eye distance of the wearer by measuring the eyes’ vergence, which allows to optimize the 3D experience for individual physiognomies.
The leader in optical tracking, Advanced Realtime Tracking GmbH (A.R.T.) provides the optical targets placed on the glasses in order to measure the position and orientation of the wearer's head within a defined space. The result: 6D gaze vectors on objects are calculated automatically and virtual content can be presented in real-time dependent on the gaze interaction of the user with the environment. The eye tracking system supports leading head and motion tracking technologies such as A.R.T., Vicon, WorldViz and Kinect via its VRPN interface.
Ingmar Gutberlet, Director of Sales&Marketing, SensoMotoric Instruments: “This trend-setting development achieved in close collaboration with our partners will help to advance user experience testing in virtual spaces prior to realization of cost-intensive projects. Moreover, eye control with real 3D experience will add another level of entertainment to consumer applications such as video games.”
Bernard Mendiburu, VP Professional Markets, Volfoni Group: “I am extremly proud to introduce these Stereo 3D Gaze Tracking Glasses with the world leaders SMI and ART. They combine the highest quality 3D lenses from Volfoni and the best in class tracking systems. It is exciting to see the new business and research potentials developing around this master piece of technology. We see it everywhere form VR-labs all the way to marketing tools.”
Ulrich Probost, Sales Director, A.R.T. GmbH: „We are proud of being a partner during this development. The resulting product which combines eyetracking, 3D glasses and headtracking is definitely a great add-on for Virtual Reality systems. We believe that this product will provide valuable service for all marketing related or psychological investigations in virtual environments.”