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Novel Eye Gaze Tracking Techniques Under Natural Head Movement

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2 Author(s)
Zhiwei Zhu ; Rensselaer Polytech. Inst., Troy ; Qiang Ji

Most available remote eye gaze trackers have two characteristics that hinder them being widely used as the important computer input devices for human computer interaction. First, they have to be calibrated for each user individually; second, they have low tolerance for head movement and require the users to hold their heads unnaturally still. In this paper, by exploiting the eye anatomy, we propose two novel solutions to allow natural head movement and minimize the calibration procedure to only one time for a new individual. The first technique is proposed to estimate the 3D eye gaze directly. In this technique, the cornea of the eyeball is modeled as a convex mirror. Via the properties of convex mirror, a simple method is proposed to estimate the 3D optic axis of the eye. The visual axis, which is the true 3D gaze direction of the user, can be determined subsequently after knowing the angle deviation between the visual axis and optic axis by a simple calibration procedure. Therefore, the gaze point on an object in the scene can be obtained by simply intersecting the estimated 3D gaze direction with the object. Different from the first technique, our second technique does not need to estimate the 3D eye gaze directly, and the gaze point on an object is estimated from a gaze mapping function implicitly. In addition, a dynamic computational head compensation model is developed to automatically update the gaze mapping function whenever the head moves. Hence, the eye gaze can be estimated under natural head movement. Furthermore, it minimizes the calibration procedure to only one time for a new individual. The advantage of the proposed techniques over the current state of the art eye gaze trackers is that it can estimate the eye gaze of the user accurately under natural head movement, without need to perform the gaze calibration every time before using it. Our proposed methods will improve the usability of the eye gaze tracking technology, and we believe that it represe- - nts an important step for the eye tracker to be accepted as a natural computer input device.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 12 )