Most people with severe disabilities suffer from difficulties in doing simple things at home, such as turning on or off a light, fan, television, or any other equipment. With the recent technological advances in sensors and actuators, some companies have come up with solutions that can drastically improve the quality of their lives with technology, also known as assistive technology, increasing their autonomy at their homes.
Eye-tracking is one such assistive technique. It measures either the point of gaze or the motion of an eye relative to the head, to establish a communication from user to computer conveniently and naturally. The eye movements are regarded as a pivotal real-time input medium for people with motor disabilities, who have limited anatomical sites to use and control input devices.
The eye movement can be tracked using different methods, categorized into four main groups: infrared oculography (IROG), scleral search coil (SSC), electro-oculography (EOG), and video-oculography (VOG). When SSC measures the movement of a coil attached to the eye, VOG carries out optical tracking without direct contact to the eye. EOG measures the electric potentials with the use of electrodes placed around the eyes. Currently, most of the eye-tracking research for human-computer interaction (HCI) uses VOG, as it has minimized the invasiveness to the user.
There are around 25 manufacturers of eye-tracking technology today. In this post, we will present the top 12 of them in the world.
Ergoneers, founded in 2005, is a spin-off from the faculty of Ergonomics at the Technical University of Munich. They provide portable eye-tracking solutions as well as large-scale vehicle driving simulation setups to companies in transportation, market research & usability, science, sports, and biomechanics industries. Their product line includes D-Lab, a software platform for capturing and analyzing human behavior, and the Dikablis Eye-Tracking system.
2. EyeTech Digital Systems
EyeTech Digital Systems uses eye-tracking technology to help children and adults with disabilities operate their computers. Founded in 1996 in Arizona, the company designs low-powered eye tracking cameras and solutions and manufactures a range of eye-tracking devices for users of all abilities. EyeTech easily interfaces with AAC (Alternative Augmented Communication) speech devices through a single USB connection and connects to any Windows PC.
Gazepoint is a Canada-based gaze tracking company providing eye-tracking equipment for academic research, UX design, video game, and usability testing. Gazepoint has been developing eye-trackers for over a decade, with a mission to enable fast-paced, independently-led innovations, and large-scale research that will bring visual tracking to the forefront of natural human-computer interactions.
ISCAN is a Massachusetts-based company that works with the U.S. Army and the University of Lowa to develop the OmniView real-time head-mounted eye-tracking system. The ISCAN OmniView is a binocular real-time head-mounted eye-tracking system for aircraft pilots or military ground vehicle drivers. The system tracks the user’s eye position under real flight or vehicle operating conditions. It overlays a point of gaze cursor that shows precisely where the user is looking.
5. LC Technologies
LC Technologies is a pioneer in building the world’s best eye-tracking communication hardware and software solutions. Founded in 1986, they make the Eyegaze Edge, the world’s most advanced eye-driven tablet communication system. It uses a special eye-tracking camera to observe the user’s eyes and determines where the user is looking on the screen. It takes less than 15 seconds of calibration procedure to set up the system for a particular user.
Founded in 2011, Mirametrix is a relatively new entrant to the eye-tracking. It offers small USB-connected eye tracking units, enabling natural human-computer interaction on all consumer electronics. Powered by its breakthrough Attention Sensing technology, its flagship software platform Glance by Mirametrix™ creates novel and intuitive user experiences across all devices for customers, OEMs, and ISVs worldwide.
7. Pupil Labs
A new Berlin-based company, launched in 2014, Pupil Labs offers open-source coding and hackable eye-tracking solutions with relatively affordable and customizable units. Pupil Core is a unique platform comprised of an open-source software suite and a wearable eye-tracking headset. It is used in a range of fields, including psychology, cognitive sciences, UX design, and marketing, by academic and commercial research labs all around the world. Its newest product, Pupil Invisible, is the first eye-tracking device that looks and feels like a regular pair of glasses.
8. SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI)
SMI is a spin-off from academic and medical research at the Free University of Berlin and a German computer vision application provider, with a significant focus on eye-tracking technology. Founded in 1991, SMI provides eye-tracking systems for scientific research and OEM applications. Their technology is based on the dark pupil and corneal reflection tracking. The company has three main product lines: mobile Eye Tracking Glasses (ETG), remote eye-tracking systems (RED), and tower-mounted systems (Hi-Speed). SMI sold over 6000 units and offers both eye tracking with glasses, and with VR.
9. SR Research
SR Research manufactures the EyeLink series of high-speed, video-based eye-tracking equipment and portable and head-bound systems. Their product line includes four products: EyeLink 1000 Plus, EyeLink Portable Duo, fMRI and MEG, and EyeLink II. The EyeLink 1000 Plus has the world’s lowest spatial noise and highest sampling rate. It can be used in the laboratory (human or non-human primates) with or without head stabilization or in sensitive environments like MRI and MEG.
10. Smart Eye
Smart Eye is a Swedish tech company and a leader in Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) that develops and sells the world’s most advanced eye-tracking systems. Their AI-powered eye tracking systems use digital cameras to track the movement of the eyes and gaze direction in real-time. It is used for research applications in the automotive and consumer electronics industries.
Tobii is a Swedish tech company that develops and sells products for eye control and eye-tracking. Founded in Stockholm in 2001, the Tobii Group consists of three business units: Tobii Dynavox, Tobii Pro, and Tobii Tech. Tobii Dynavox makes specially designed computers that can be controlled by eye movement or touch of the people who suffer spinal cord injuries, ALS, CP, or other medical conditions. Tobii Pro builds eye-tracking equipment and services which are currently used by 2 000+ companies, 1 500 research institutions, and universities. Tobii Tech develops the world’s leading eye-tracking technology for computers, computer games, virtual reality, and cars.
12. The Eye Tribe
The Eye Tribe is a Danish company that enables users to navigate through smartphones, tablets, and computers with just the look of an eye. This hands-free navigation of websites and apps can also activate eye activated login, enhanced gaming experiences, and cloud-based user engagement analytics. The Eye Tribe is a leading provider of eye control technology for mass-market consumer devices by licensing the technology to manufacturers.