Consumer electronics companies are turning to eye tracking to expand the intelligence of their mobile products. This year Alienware, Acer, MSI and Ubisoft released offerings that use the technology to enhance the gaming experience. Now telecommunications firm Huawei has unveiled its Honor Magic smartphone, which integrates Tobbi eye-tracking technology.
Like many other technology providers, Huawei believes that eye tracking can enhance its device’s responsiveness by making it more aware of the user’s actions and intentions. By combining eye tracking with other input systems, the company’s engineers hope to make the user’s experience more natural and engaging.
The core of Honor Magic’s eye-tracking hardware is a near-infrared camera, which collects information about the user’s eyes and areas of interest. Complementing the hardware, Tobbi’s EyeCore algorithms interpret the image stream generated by the sensor, calculating the position of the user’s eyes and gaze point on the device’s screen. Huawei hopes the technology will make its smartphone more user-friendly by enabling the device to understand its users. Ultimately this will open the door for other types of interactions.
The smartphone’s eye-tracking technology performs two intriguing functions. The first allows the phone to recognize the user and automatically turns on the phone when he or she looks at the screen. The eye-tracking feature detects the user's gaze and works in the background, eliminating the need to type in passwords and turn on the phone’s power. The second feature, called FaceCode, recognizes the owner of the phone and displays private notifications, hiding them from all other users.
Bear in mind that while the eye-tracking functionality focuses on making the Honor Magic a more intelligent smartphone, it does not detect the precise gaze of the user. Overall the technology represents an important advancement toward more natural, intuitive and interactive smartphones. You can expect to see this technology play important roles in the control interfaces of other types of devices.