The NUIA eyeCharm Enables Eye-Tracking With the Kinect
The Kinect is a powerful device, but it still has its limits. For now, it can essentially map out a skeleton of your body as long as you are standing several feet away from it. It works for some party games but still doesn’t have what it takes to control games that require split second twitch reactions. However, a new peripheral called the NUIA eyeCharm can apparently make the Kinect so sensitive that it can track the very movements of your eyes.
The NUIA eyeCharm is a clip on device that goes over the front of your Kinect. The device supposedly adds the infrared optics necessary to track a user’s eyes at a close distance. By placing the Kinect underneath your monitor and hooking it up to your computer, you will be able to control your computer using eyesight alone. Pages can automatically scroll as you read toward the bottom of them, games will focus on where you are looking without the need to move your mouse, everything will respond to the tiny twitches of your eyes.
The eyeCharm is currently being Kickstarted and as of now, 35,000 dollars of the 100,000 goal have been raised. The device is looking to retail for sixty dollars, which is pretty cheap for an eye-tracking interface, as long as you ignore the initial cost of the Kinect as well.
The eyeCharm is currently only developed for use with PC games and applications, however the technology alone does open up some interesting possibilities for game developers. Imagine a horror game that keeps track of where you are looking in order to maximize its scare potential. Perhaps the next-generation Kinect will be able to take full advantage of this technology. Until then, the eyeCharm is scheduled to be released in August of this year, should it reach its funding goal.