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Technological Advancements Using the Eye

robot with blue eyes

In today’s world, there are new technological advancements occurring every day. Our world has shifted and continues to shift towards being technology centered. Our daily interactions, for example, happen via smartphones. We can video chat with our loved ones from across the world. Our cars are moving towards being self-driven. Who would have thought (perhaps the makers of The Jetsons) that we would rely so much on technology so much and so quickly? Several technologies that have already been developed or are in development focus on using the human eye. And this leads us to this week’s topic. Read on to learn about some interesting technological advancements using the eye!


Eye Tracking

taking controlEver heard of eye tracking? This concept uses eye motion to help devices better communicate with users and vice versa. For example, if you are using a smartphone, eye tracking technology could help identify what you are interested in without any added interference. Additionally, this type of technology could greatly aid in advertisements. Did you even see that banner advertisement? Was the ad effective in gaining your attention? If it wasn’t, marketers can now gain real-time feedback and use this data to reevaluate their approach. Thus, through behavior analysis devices will be able to better cater to their users. Cool or creepy?  We will leave that for you to decide.

Beyond simply enhancing user/machine communication, eye tracking may provide to be beneficial in helping diagnose neurological disorders. Techcrunch.com published an article on how eye tracking could help diagnose autism. Bryn Farnsworth, science editor at biometric research company iMotions explained this theory in the article:

“Farnsworth explains that infants that go on to develop autism are much more likely to have a preference for images that feature geometric shapes, while for children with the Williams syndrome, Farnsworth says, the situation is reversed, meaning that they show a marked preference for social scenes in comparison to neurotypical children.”

The ability to track one’s eye movements could help diagnose these types of disorders earlier, which could allow for better treatment plans.

The article further touches on other very interesting concepts the technology could be used for like, helping those who are disabled interact with household devices to helping doctors diagnose concussions. You can read the full article here.


Retinal Scan

green eye up close

Your retina is assessed during your comprehensive eye exam, but did you know (this not so new technology) could be used as a means of gaining access to your home, bank, or phone? That’s right folks! So what exactly is a retina scan? BiometricUpdate.com published an article on this topic and explained the process as such:

“Retinal scans map the unique patterns of a person’s retina. The blood vessels within the retina absorb light more readily than the surrounding tissue and are easily identified with appropriate lighting.”

Because we each have a unique retina, using this type of technology as a means for security could prove to be quite valuable.

Some banks, including Wells Fargo, are offering their customers banking services through their smartphones. Nothing new in this day and age, but users are able to use the retinal scans as a means to access their accounts. Users can perform such activities like transfer or pay bills. This type of technology uses a stored copy of the eyes and compares it to what is being scanned by the user (who would hold up their smartphones to their face for a scan). An article published by Phys.org explains that retinal scans are harder to hack than fingerprint scans as play-doh can easily trick a fingerprint scanner. However, retinal scans will likely not be the be all and end all, but instead an added layer of security. Perhaps the anguish over remembering all those passwords isn’t out of sight yet, at least for the immediate future.


A Changing World

Technology is a constant evolution. Machines are rapidly changing from being just a singular piece of equipment one might use for a specific task, to now a multi-functional device. One that can adapt to its users’ environment through analysis whether that be verbal or in this case non-verbal communication. There are limitless possibilities as to what may be invented, we will just have to wait and see!

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We hope you have enjoyed reading this week’s blog post. Got any interesting article ideas you want us to touch upon? Then give us a shout via email! Until next time, keep those peepers safe – Dr. B Sharma