How should we use Eye Tracking?

This paper by Poole presented some very cool and interesting technologies that allow us to follow eye movements and relate them to visual interpretation.  While this technology seems very “out there” to me at times, there are definitely some practical applications that I can think of.

With the increased amount of information and data available to us, we must filter out what we don’t want to see. With the advent of digital earths and virtual environments being the medium through which we view spatial information (business locations, road networks etc…), there may be a point where the amount of information is just too much to handle for one person.  Using eye tracking technology, experts could figure out how to best present certain types of spatial data (e.g. houses vs. business).  Then, as a user we could pick and choose which data we want to see.

For example, say I want to look at all the business in an area, filtering out residential and other land uses.  Knowing how our eyes react to different representations, the interface could “highlight” the business locations.   Theoretically, it would save the user time from having to scan through all the information they don’t want to see.

Through these kinds of things, eye tracking could extremely improve the way virtual worlds are presented.  Oddly, it may even allow us to view parts of the real world in a more “efficient” manner than in reality.



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