Apple invention lets users control time-sensitive notifications with their eyes

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2015
An Apple patent published on Tuesday shows continued work into so-called "gaze detection" technology, particularly as a means to control certain user interface events like autocorrect pop-ups, app notifications and more.


Source: USPTO


As granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple's U.S. Patent No. 9,189,064 for "Delay of display event based on user gaze" describes a UI input method that relies on eye tracking technology to manage expiration and execution of time-sensitive display events.

A built-in autocorrect utility, for example, might detect and replace misspelled words without user intervention. When iOS or OS X recognizes a misspelling, an autocorrect algorithm generates a display event and throws up a pop-up containing what it believes to be the correctly spelled word.

Users can dismiss autocorrect by tapping or clicking on the correction box, but as Apple notes, they might be looking at their keyboard or another window, causing them to miss the notification altogether. A more intuitive system would delay execution of a display event until a gaze tracking device indicates the user is looking at the appropriate screen region, in this case a text autocorrect bubble.

In some embodiments, a gaze detection device, such as a camera configured to detect absorbed infrared light, tracks the position of a user's eyes. A probable gaze region can be estimated and applied to coordinates on a display, with a software backend constantly checking overlap with target UI elements.

Applied to Apple's example, the text "quicj" would trigger an autocorrect display event containing the corrected word "quick." However, unlike current iOS and OS X iterations, the autocorrect replacement indicator would remain unexecuted until a user's gaze is determined to have overlapped with target text box. This process ensures the user saw the corrected "quick" text and took appropriate actions for its insertion or dismissal.




Apple points out that gaze detection can be used for other events, such as app notification badges, pop-up windows and even screen dimming. Perhaps not a replacement for physical touchscreen gestures, gaze detection technology could aid in the navigation of increasingly complex UIs.

The future of today's patent is unclear, though Apple has shown an interest in gaze detection technology for both iOS and Mac devices. Certain inventions cover UI augmentations, while others describe advanced display systems with pixel-level pointer control.

Apple's latest gaze detection patent was first filed in September 2012 and credits Imran Chaudhri and Stephen O. Lemay as its inventors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    This invention, even if implemented, will be useless for people with larger than average vocabularies unless they expand the dictionary to include more words. I turned off %u201Cauto-defect%u201D because it often corrected words that were spelled correctly, but were not in its dictionary.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    This invention is useless to people that have large vocabularies and have to turn auto-correct off in order to communicate without having their messages mangled. Until their dictionary includes more words, any other improvement to auto-correct is useless.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    I'm not sure about auto-correct, but I believe gaze detection technology will be essential to have safer, and self-driving cars so the vehicle can make sure the driver is paying attention to the road.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Auto-correct feels like a misdirection play by Apple. It is the other applications referenced in the patent that I think Apple is truly heading towards.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by noivad View Post



    This invention is useless to people that have large vocabularies and have to turn auto-correct off in order to communicate without having their messages mangled. Until their dictionary includes more words, any other improvement to auto-correct is useless.



    You are so missing the point of this patent noivad. It has nothing to do with auto-correction or vocabularies.

  • Reply 6 of 9
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,448member
    Gaze detection can also be used to determine if a user is looking at their ?Watch, and thus keep the backlight on as long as the user is interacting with it. It will also prevent accidental backlight activation when the user is not looking at it. Of course, it will require a camera on the ?Watch face. ;-)
  • Reply 7 of 9
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,360member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by noivad View Post



    This invention is useless to people that have large vocabularies and have to turn auto-correct off in order to communicate without having their messages mangled. Until their dictionary includes more words, any other improvement to auto-correct is useless.



    You do realise that you can add words to your own dictionary very very easily? Easier in fact than whinging about the stock dictionary messing up your extensive vocabulary.

  • Reply 8 of 9
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post



    I'm not sure about auto-correct, but I believe gaze detection technology will be essential to have safer, and self-driving cars so the vehicle can make sure the driver is paying attention to the road.

     

    What about the watch... What if looking at the watch turned it on, no need to turn the wrist. That seems a good implementation.

  • Reply 9 of 9
    foggyhill wrote: »
    What about the watch... What if looking at the watch turned it on, no need to turn the wrist. That seems a good implementation.

    That could work, but there would have to be always-on IR cameras for that and I'm not sure that the size of the device and its battery will allow for that.
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