Developers from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada have developed a new eye tracking system that can be used to track eye movements from up to 10 meters away. This will make it possible to measure the attention that small billboards get from people that pass-by.
The developers behind the technology – dubbed Eyebox2 – believe it could have a range of possible applications, but should particularly interest advertisers. This is because it allows billboards to track people's attention and perhaps respond when it wanes.
Until now, eye-tracking systems have only worked over about half a metre.
"It's less accurate than those systems, but it is good enough to let us know whether you are looking at a display or billboard or not," says lead developer Roel Vertegaal from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada.
The system uses an array of infrared LEDs and a 1.3 megapixel digital camera to monitor eye movements. The camera has higher resolution than most eye-tracking systems, and can easily pick out the distinctive infrared signature from a pair of human pupils from up to 10 metres. It can also track several people at once and can determine their gaze from four metres away to within 15 degrees.