Eye controls developed for phones & MP3 players

Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo showed off a new pair of headphones that give users the ability to control mobile phones or MP3 players using their eyes.

Designed to look like a set of regular earbuds, the NTT DoCoMo customized headset is able to read electrical changes on the surface of the human eye.  A user who looks from right to left can pause music, right and then left glances skip to the next track, and rolling the eyes clockwise helps raise the volume.

The company hasn’t announced plans to release the eye-based headset to the consumer market any time in the near future.

This type of eye tracking technology is mainly used in the medical field, and hasn’t been widely explored by consumer tech companies.  NTT DoCoMo modified the method used to track tiny electric charges, as the sensors on the Japanese company’s headset are located near the earbuds themselves.

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Image courtesy of the AP

Japanese electronics companies are on the forefront of next-generation technology similar to what NTT DoCoMo showed off in Spain.  Much of the technology is still in development — and most of it won’t be ready for years — as many prototypes will disappear into obscurity.

Hands-free solutions have grown significantly over the past year, but I think this new NTT DoCoMo solution won’t make it to consumers for a very long time.  The company will probably keep the product in development to iron out as many problems as possible.  Nonetheless, even if this technology doesn’t hit the market any time soon, it’s still very interesting and provides a glimpse into the future of our technology.

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