This is one of those geeky things I can’t pass commenting on. Gaze tracking is a very thorny problem and one of the best solutions, IMO, is sensing the muscular activity around the eyes. That seems to be how this works. I’m not sure if it can read all of the muscle groups that move our eyes (some muscles are closer to the nose than the temple), but it may be enough.
I’m hoping to see similar biosensors for arm and leg motion, which have the benefit of sensing movements before we actually make them, perhaps if we only intend to make them, or make them in minute degrees.
So while this eye-gaze apparatus is still bulky, it doesn’t require any mirrors in your line of sight. If they can come up with a comfy hat that knows what you’re looking at, that’s a big part of the problem associated with the "Hippo" technology we were talking about the other day. It could be very useful for games and user interfaces, allowing software to focus in on what you’re naturally focusing in on.
As for other applications, marketers would already probably pay people to wear these full-time to evaluate which ads they look at and what they notice first. It won’t take long.
This, by the way, leads to the inverse problem from eye-tracking. Despite any free will we may posess, once advertisers master the visual programming language of Human Attention, drawing our gaze just so from spot to spot in space with clever graphics and animation, our eye motion will largely be governed by what we see, not what we think. It’ll be as if our eyes are effectively on remote control. So much fun that’ll be. We’ll have no choice but to wear the VR glasses (or contact lenses) to block out the stuff we don’t want to see.
Don’t believe me? Despite individual differences, we all evolved from common ancestors under similar conditions. Visual cues are tuned for hunting, gathering, and recognizing friend from foe. In the movie Minority Report, the ads get your attention by calling your name. Why bother? It’s easier to just flash an image of your mother out of the corner of your eye. Unless you’re aware of the trick, you will always look.
Linguistic cues work much the same way. I could say, "Pick a number from one to four" and 99% of you would give the same answer. Go ahead. Pick a number from one to four. If you want to see what it is, hover your mouse here
But it’s not like anyone ever used the word sex to get your attention…