The long-awaited advent of eye-gaze tracking technologies suitable for the mass market is here. Much research has already been done on the use of eye gaze for computer control or for usability studies in laboratories, but relatively little attention has been devoted to how gaze tracking can be utilized in everyday interaction with computing devices. Some examples include the use of point of gaze as attention indicator in video conferencing and collaborative software development.
In this project we will build on our past work in building a device independent API and in making use of eye gaze for attention and comprehension detection. We will develop a software solution that allows easy and convenient instrumentation of web pages with gaze data collection. The resulting data set can be visualized for personal use (when returning to previously browsed information) and in an education context (showing the point of gaze in real time, both for individual users and collectively, in a classroom setting).
Eye gaze offers great promise also for the development of dynamic digital textbooks. Audiences are typically thrilled when they are presented with demonstrations that pop up an image as soon as gaze reaches the text telling about it: it feels like magic. This project will put the technology into serious use by developing educational material for several lectures, enabling its study in a realistic setting.
The project is based on continued co-operation with two international partners, Lund University and American University in Paris (AUP). Lund offers a facility that is unique in the world, a computer classroom with 25 interconnected computers equipped with eye trackers. We have already utilized the classroom when we taught a tutorial there in a large European conference. We will continue to work together with the Humanities Lab in Lund on the development of the educational material and analysis of its use. AUP is an established research partner with researcher exchange and collaboration in an EU project, and this project will allow us to continue the co-operation. AUP brings to the project its profound knowledge of attention in digital environments.
The outcomes of the project include publicly available software that enables gaze data collection, a methodology for remote usability testing, and a large scale demonstrator of the potential of gaze data in the educational context – plus, of course, scientific publications on gaze, attention, and education.