Imagine a world where you literally would never need to touch your PC: You could use face recognition to log in, oral commands to quickly type, and eye tracking to move your cursor around the screen. But how would you mimic a mouse click? Perceptive Devices may have an answer, and is showing off the technology with a few rounds of Angry Birds: Space this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The company has a set of prototype technologies in the works: An existing pair of smart glasses developed by Perceptive Devices’ CEO Uday Parshionikar, and a second, newer version—dubbed Smyle—that doesn’t need any wearable hardware. Call it “smile tracking.”
In both cases, the Perceptive software detects your smile and uses it to trigger a mouse click. The smartglass approach actually “feels” for the movement of your cheek via an external sensor, although Parshionikar said an alternative like conductive paint could be used. The Smyle technology can also read your smile by “locking on” to it using the camera on your PC or tablet, without the need for a wearable. It even ignores other people peering over your shoulder.
There are two obvious uses for this technology, according to Parshionikar: It provides an additional input source for virtual reality or augmented reality headsets, and also provides a new way for people with disabilities to control a PC. Either way, Parshionikar hopes to license the technology to other manufacturers for them to include in their products.
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