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Eye-tracking projector keeps your eye on the game

May 5, 2011 | William Zimmerman
Pico Eye Tracker.jpg
By Max Eddy, Geekosystem (via ISPR)

The best way to get really visually sucked into the game you're playing is to increase screen real estate; get a giant HDTV or a series of monitors. But a team from the University of Texas, Austin has unveiled a clever solution that uses a tiny projector to provide a huge viewing experience. In their demo, presented last week, they combined a tiny, motorized pico projector and an eye-ball tracking system with a parabolic screen. This keeps gamers' eyes on the action no matter where they look, and incorporates some unique Kinect-like controls to the game.

At their demo, the team presented two games, the first of which was a flight simulator, where the player's head effectively replaced the joystick. When the player tilted his head, the plane on the screen responded accordingly and also changed position on the parabolic screen. The second game was a first-person shooter, where the player [controlled] the protagonist's view. By moving their head -- turning, tilting, and panning -- the player can change the view, making their natural movements a part of the game.

In their YouTube commentary, the team says that this demonstration was limited by their available funds. In an ideal situation, the team says,

[...] we would have more money (we are students, after all) to get more powerful motors, a dome-like projection screen, and the best possible pico projector for the best resolution.

Hopefully that means we'll be seeing this concept mature over time, and this won't be just a cool one-note project demonstration.

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