The IMEC research centre presented on Wednesday in Antwerp new wireless technology that can be used to measure faster eye movements based on electrooculography.
The technology can also be incorporated into a pair of standard eyeglasses, allowing the wearer’s virtual and augmented reality experience to be improved. It will also be used in clinical studies to enable earlier diagnosis of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
According to the Leuven-based Inter-University Microelectronics Centre (IMEC), virtual and augmented reality glasses that can monitor the eye’s activity already exist. However, they use expensive cameras, cannot detect very fast movements and need large batteries since they use up a great deal of energy.
To resolve this, IMEC proposes five little polymer electrodes mounted on a classic spectacle frame. These electrodes detect eye movements without anyone noticing. An algorithm then translates them into virtual commands. By moving the eye sideways, the wearer can slide the image around him/her, while for a forward movement he or she simply needs to blink an eye.
These glasses can detect 256 movements per second, twice as many as those already on the market, and they only need a small battery inserted in the frame.
The technology was presented on Wednesday at the IMEC Technology Forum in Antwerp.