Glasses with a camera may show people what the wearer’s head points to, but they certainly don’t indicate where the person’s line of sight is actually fixed. However, a new headset is designed for this purpose and can be used to advance a variety of technologies. The system was developed by a team at the University of Nevada, Reno, and is based on glasses made by Pupil Labs in Germany. The glasses are already on the market and use two rear cameras to track the user’s eye movements. It also has an inertial measurement unit (IMU), which is a motion sensor that combines accelerometers and gyroscopes.
The researchers, led by Paul MacNeilage, an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, added two front-facing cameras to record what the user looked forward to. Instead of reducing the weight of glasses and adding volume by integrating microprocessors, the team chose to link them to laptops carried in their backpacks.
The combined settings not only record the front view and eye movements, but also track the wearer’s GPS coordinates, head movements and body movements in 3D space. After the test subject’s wearsystem is taken, the resulting video lens consists of the output of the front camera and comes with a moving green dot indicating where their eyes are focused at any given time.
Now the researchers plan to require four different laboratories to test, each with five new devices. Volunteers between the ages of 5 and 70 will then wear the devices and test them as they stroll through places such as museums or libraries or engage in activities such as shopping and cycling.
All in all, the researchers will collect more than 240 hours of first-person video and store it on university servers. Scientists from other agencies will have free access to the “Visual Experience Database” and want to learn more about how people perceive the world around them. Ultimately, it is hoped that the technology will make progress in areas such as neuroscience, visual science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence and even art.
“We’re building a video database with a first-person perspective to provide more visual data that is consistent with the human experience,” says MacNeilage. Our goal is to find out what the world people see when they walk and move their heads. We use simple examples to understand how people use their eyes to sample the visual environment. “