Introducing the Gizmag Store

Google eye tracking unlock patent revealed

By

August 8, 2012

Users may be able to read through lines of text to unlock the device

Users may be able to read through lines of text to unlock the device

Image Gallery (3 images)

A patent filed in November of last year shows plans for an eye tracking unlock system. The plans strongly suggest that the feature is intended for use with Google Glass, Mountain View’s hot-topic, wearable-tech product.

Google Glass, the wearable augmented-reality headset, is a product that has received a great deal of media attention, and one that the company hopes will sit at the forefront of the wearable-tech market when it hits shelves sometime in 2014. It features a real-time heads-up display that aims to provide users with useful services including weather updates, voice-activated messaging and maps.

The augmented reality headset doesn't have a touchscreen, so a common slide-to-unlock system found on the majority of modern smart phones and tablets would be impossible to implement on the device. Google appear to be working on a camera-based tracking system that will resolve the issue of intuitively unlocking a device without a touchscreen.

The technology works by generating a moving object on the head-mounted display (HMD) of the device, while tracking the movement of the wearer’s pupil. The computer then determines whether there is a significant correlation between the path of the image on the screen and the movement of the eye. The user may also be able to configure the device to unlock by tracking the movement of the eye when reading text displayed on the HMD.

The patent strongly suggests that the technology is for use with Google Glass

Although the patent states that the functionality of the device is reduced when in locked mode, it’s unclear how the user would actually trigger the unlocking procedure. Despite this lack of clarity, the nature of the technology is strongly in keeping with the hands-free ethos of the device, and of wearable tech as a whole.

Google isn’t new to camera-based unlocking. The fourth version of the company’s Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, introduced Face Unlock, an option that allows the device to track and store the face of the user thus making the owner the only person with the means to unlock the device. If the technology detailed in the patent ever becomes a reality, then Google will be building on its experience and attempting to create an innovative and simple way to unlock its flagship wearable tech product.

Source: USPTO via Engadget

About the Author
Chris Wood Chris recently graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Politics and Ancient History. Based in the U.K., he has an enthusiasm for technology of all kinds, specializing in mobile tech and games. In his spare time you might find him running, playing music, following NFL (Pats fan) or fueling his ever growing Swiss watch obsession.   All articles by Chris Wood
Tags
3 Comments

Well I'm not sure if its actually become a patent but if it does it will easily be put down by any sensible patent officer for OBVIOUSNESS. In fact anything related to using a glasses-type controller should be shot down. This whole race between Google, Apple and MS on rubbish patents has to stop.

Rocky Stefano
9th August, 2012 @ 05:33 am PDT

re; Rocky Stefano

Being obvious is not a valid reason to deny a patent.

Slowburn
10th August, 2012 @ 03:12 pm PDT

@Slowburn

It really should be, though. The motivator of obscene amounts of money for no real work aside, I feel that obvious patents really stifle innovation.

Daniel Moreno
27th January, 2013 @ 05:47 pm PST
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles

Just enter your friends and your email address into the form below

For multiple addresses, separate each with a comma




Privacy is safe with us because we have a strict privacy policy.

Looking for something? Search our 26,455 articles