June 27, 2017

HoloLens Technology – Eye Tracking


One of the key technologies behind virtual reality and augmented reality is eye tracking. VR needs precise eye tracking to adjust the perception of the images when the viewer is looking at different position. Also it needs eye tracking to tell exactly what and where to show the images for each pupil to generate stereoscopic 3D illusions. HoloLens works differently than VR, but eye tracking is part of core technologies in Hololens. In this post, I’ll talk about eye tracking technology, and what role it plays in HoloLens.

Eye tracking is a method that detect the point of gaze for each individual pupil. Over the years, many techniques has been developed, including dynamic analysis of the eye images and dynamic analysis of the electrooculogram. Eye tracking has been recently used in human-computer interaction, like gazing to hover on the screen, moving pupil to scroll. Marketers user eye tracking to figure out their ads efficiency: marketing is all about eyeballs after all. However when we talk about VR or AR, eye tracking is in the front and center. Without eye tracking, without HoloLens.

Some Important Information About HoloLens

Now we know that HoloLens’ using natural user interface instead of keyboard and mouse, please check sources: here and here. Those user interfaces are: gestures, voice and gaze. Needless to say, without eye tracking, gaze wouldn’t work. The fact it’s part of user interface implies that eye tracking need to be swift and accurate.

More importantly, eye tracking is part of the HoloLens light engine. As we already know that the HoloLens light engine not only generates lights, but also projects them to the eyes. It needs to know the exact position of both eyes, and where they are looking at. A hologram can’t be created without knowing the point of view, and the light engine wouldn’t know where to send the lights if it doesn’t know where the eyes are.  Eye tracking can significantly reduce images that are generated at each moment. apparently it would be very inefficient to render the entire hologram at every moment, that’s a lot more information than a stereoscopic 3D image.

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