Apple granted patent for eye tracking controls for iOS and Mac devices


Apple has granted another patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office with the patent number 8,937,591 forĀ Systems and methods for counteracting a perceptual fading of a movable indicatorĀ which deals with the Troxler’s fading issue related to the eye-tracking and gaze-based GUI solutions.



In Apple words, Troxler’s fading is the phenomenon that affects the visual perception of the static stimuli or objects in the peripheral vision. Human brain uses this system to deal with the blind spots on the eye retina incessant gaze tracking the systems, Troxler’s effect can detrimental to the user experience. For instance, when the user fixes their vision on the particular point such as cursor on your PC and the object moves along with the gaze it can disappear quickly.

In order to conjure the stabilized retinal image, then system should be accurate enough to detect slight shifts in the user’s gaze and reflect those changes on screen in the extremely quick order. This patent offers the blend of software and hardware solutions to counter the Troxler effect and the resulting perceived variation in the visual intuition.

This concept employs an eye-tracking hardware to track the user’s gaze and send that information to an onscreen GUI. A movable indicator is correlated with the user’s point of view which facilitates input through detection of the eye movement.

To obstruct perceived cursor fade, Apple will suggest a system which measures the possible fading by calculating the time between eye movements, per any number of thresholds, system can counteract fade before it get started. Another method uses infrared sensors to detect when the user is blinking and moves cursor during short time. It compare sequence of images taken of the user’s face or detect the user’s pupil.

This patent explains the method by which the user’s distance from the display or viewing angle is measured and tracked.

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