Eye tracking is a go-to technology for XR because it can help overcome some of the challenges associated with adoption and use. By enabling authentic and immersive content, our solution creates a connection between users, applications, and content — uncovering the secrets of cognitive behavior.
Interaction in immersive 3D environments brings some new HCI challenges. The aim is for virtual, mixed, and augmented experiences to feel as intuitive as real ones, and for transitions to be seamless. Eye tracking raises the intuitiveness of experiences because it, for example, reduces the need for hand controllers (and the odd gestures they entail). But it also equips users with supernatural powers — you can control objects by looking at them, aim and teleport with gaze — making experiences intuitive, enjoyable, and less straining.
Grasping 2D panels or 3D objects in an XR environment — directly, with virtual hands, or using laser pointers — is not always the most optimal experience. The addition of eye tracking to the interface helps make the interactions sensitive to user attention; improving usability, ergonomics, and the feeling of intuitiveness. It, for example, replaces the need to match a laser pointer to a 2D plane in 3D, which reduces the user's cognitive load. And because the technology supports features like menu selection, highlighting, or show/hide information based on gaze, eye tracking boosts UX.
Social presence and nonverbal communication lie at the heart of human connection. Avatars, virtual non-player characters (NPCs), and even non-character elements like objects, trees, and rocks feel real or magical in XR when they respond to eye-movement-based nonverbal cues. Eye tracking enables avatars with authentic eye contact and eye-movement control, character and environment awareness, as well as shared gaze — enhancing social presence and ensuring that user experiences in the metaverse are realistic and immersive.
While display technologies and optics continue to evolve, we have yet to reach retinal resolution, full field of view, and perfect clarity. However, because eye tracking can leverage human eye physiology to enable dynamic foveated rendering, it optimizes device performance. It, for example, reduces overall GPU shading loads, freeing up resources for use in critical areas like frame rate and graphics that have a positive impact on user experience.
Eye tracking delivers a deep understanding of user behavior, what users find interesting, and what captures their attention. The technology also provides pupillometry — the measurement of pupil size and reactivity — information essential for evaluating cognitive load and critical to a wide range of industries and applications for training and gaming.
Want to find out more? Talk to one of our eye tracking specialists today.