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Adding An Eye-Tracker To A Mobile Device

The Eye Tribe’s infrared gaze tracking system debuts as $99 Android dongle

1 min read
Adding An Eye-Tracker To A Mobile Device

Last April Denmark-based start-up The Eye Tribe demonstrated prototype eye-tracking technology for mobile devices. Its system bounces infrared light off the user’s pupils; that’s not particularly new; The Eye Tribe’s twist is using existing processors in a device to process the tracking data.

This month, the company began taking orders for a US $99 developers kit; the company hopes that the kit will turn out to be a holiday 2013 stocking stuffer for the developer in your life. For 2013, the kit will just be available for Windows tablets (photo above); coming in early 2014, the company says, will be the Android kit (photo below).

The company doesn’t expect to see its infrared attachment hanging off of every mobile device; rather, it plans, by getting developers to start working with its technology, to have a head start when device manufacturers decide to build infrared systems into their products.

I tried out a prototype of the technology in April (see video, above). It was definitely fun; we’ll see if app developers can make it useful.

Photo: The Eye Tribe

A correction to this article was made on 30 September 2013.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
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Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford
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Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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