n the past decade or so, touch-screen technology has wowed the masses thanks to its convenience, but could the next big thing be even more revolutionary? Though it's been around for about 20 years, gaze-based interaction technology hasn't really been used by the general public—it's mostly been used by people with disabilities. But it might be sooner rather than later that the tech we use is outfitted with gaze-based interaction, which would mean that people could use their tablets, e-readers and other devices without touch-screen, a mouse, or any exterior device.
Gaze-based interaction could make it easier for people to use their devices without lifting a finger.
Most companies leading the race with eye-control technology are based in the U.S. or Northern Europe, where there's enough money in private wealth (or government support) to help disabled people pay for specialized equipment. Though a lot of the world doesn't have access to eye trackers, some people do, and scientists are working to make the eye-tracking systems cheaper so that they are more readily available.
The technology works by having mobile devices project infrared light toward the user's face, and the light is reflected in the pupil. Using those reflections, algorithms are created that calculate where the user is looking and what they want the device to do.
Scientists think that once the technology is perfected and made faster and more accurate, it will change the way people buy tech toys and other devices. Imagine using an e-reader that knew when you finished a page and turned to the next one without you lifting a finger.
More importantly, the technology being more standardized would make life easier for people who rely on it now—instead of taking their own specialized computers and devices with them wherever they go, they could rely on products that everyone else uses, too.
Check out this video for more detail on the technology.