Jeff Orr, Research Director for ABI Research, says gesture, eye tracking and proximity sensor technologies will mark the next stage of innovation for machine design. Indeed, driven by smartphone and tablet sensor integration, a more extensive and competitive ecosystem is expected to create “massive” opportunities in automotive, consumer electronics and healthcare markets.
“The same way that touchscreens eclipsed the PC mouse, gesture and eye tracking sensors will transform the way people interact with machines, systems and their environment,” said the analyst. “[For example], healthcare professionals are relying on these sensors to move away from subjective patient observations and toward more quantifiable and measurable prognoses, revolutionizing patient care.”
As Orr points out, eye tracking sensors can help detect concussions and head trauma, identify autism in children even before they are speaking and enable vision therapy programs for early childhood learning challenges to retrain the learned aspects of vision. Similarly, gesture sensors are already translating sign language into speech, providing doctors a means to manipulate imaging hands-free during surgical procedures, while offering a natural way of navigating through virtual experiences.
“Healthcare is only one industry poised to benefit from reinventing the user interface,” adds Orr. “The larger competitive ecosystem for perceptual sensors is forging opportunities in consumer appliances, autonomous driving, musical instruments, gaming, retail and even hazardous locations.”
Commenting on the above, Patrick Gill, a Principal Research Scientist at Rambus, told us that human eyes have historically been perceived as “windows” into the soul.
“This is how the old saying goes, although it actually turns out that quantitative assessment of eye movements in patients can reveal a lot about their mental state. Indeed, the ABI Research report discusses how eye tracking might be used to monitor a patient’s mental state,” said Gill. “This type of monitoring would probably be best implemented with hardware that has light, unobtrusive optics; is operable with a small, light battery; and complies with US healthcare regulations stipulating that no focusing cameras may be used in a way where they could conceivably violate patient privacy in a hospital setting.”
Gill adds that he was particularly interested to learn about medical applications of eye tracking, especially since Rambus lensless smart sensors (LSS) can optically measure the axis of an eyeball without ever producing a focusing image.
Interested in learning more about Rambus lensless smart sensor technology? You can check out our LSS product page here.