NTTdocomo Research for eye-controlled cellphones

NTTdocomo Research for eye-controlled cellphones
NTTdocomo Research for eye-controlled cellphones. An interesting innovation from NTT DoCoMo, the company is working on just the sort of eye-tracking tech that could eventually give disabled persons a working alternative to button-based handsets.

Controlling the operation of remote devices with the flick of an eye may sound like science fiction, but it's all in a day's work for Dr. Masaaki Fukumoto, Executive Research Engineer at NTT DOCOMO's Frontier Technology Research Group, where ongoing research promises to revolutionize the way we interact with technologies to make our daily lives more convenient and enjoyable.

This invisible connection between human and machine is just one of many possible applications for eye-movement sensor technology, explains Fukumoto. In an experiment, the researcher casts his gaze on an optical code. Mirroring the eye's movements, the eye-sensor system locks onto the code and captures the image and its imbedded data. Someday this may be how we acquire product information, discount coupons, etc. for storage in our cell phones.

Fukumoto envisages, and his work presages, a foreseeable future of "wearable computing," when seamlessly linked discrete devices will help to break down barriers between humans and machines. While DOCOMO's advanced, multifunctional mobile phones can operate as keys, credit cards, entertainment and information devices, and of course communication tools—representing the cutting edge of technological convenience—the fact remains they still do not have sufficient space for a full keyboard, a barrier that needs to be overcome.

For several years, the company has been researching and developing multifunctional devices that transcend barriers by expanding the human-machine interface. Think of the UbiButton, DOCOMO's prototype wristwatch that detects finger movements, which could be adapted for a virtual keyboard, or the Yubi-Wa, a wearable device that turns the finger into a phone receiver.

"Our research is focusing on wearable computing, in other words, multifunctional mobile phones designed as wearable gadgets. Someday we will wear very small devices that become part of us, much like fashion accessories," he says.

Fukumoto even envisages wearable mobile phones serving as core computing devices, possibly even hubs, providing us with broad information and communication capability via tiny yet powerful devices that we interact with seamlessly.

More information about NTTdocomo for eye-controlled cellphones is available from NTTdocomo.
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