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Surprising Science

Software That Lets Your Devices Watch You

Technology created by PredictGaze uses a combination of gaze detection and gesture and facial recognition to enable completely touch-free control.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

PredictGaze, a California-based startup, has created software that uses a device’s front-facing camera to interpret its user’s gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements, each of which is then translated into one or more actions. For example, a TV, upon detecting that no one is in the room, may pause its programming automatically and restart it when it notices that a person has returned. The software is sensitive enough to determine a person’s age and gender as well, along with whether the person is smiling. Some stores in Japan are testing this by tracking customers’ gazes and expressions in hopes of increasing sales by improving product placement. All data is processed on the device itself; none of it is stored or uploaded elsewhere. 

What’s the Big Idea?

With more companies building front-facing cameras into their products, the founders of PredictGaze believe there are many ways its technology can be used, “including preventing your five-year-old from watching adult content on TV and determining that you’re starting to fall asleep behind the wheel of your car.”  It plans to sell the software to manufacturers so that they can build it into the devices themselves.

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