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Tracking Eye Movement to Assess Overall Health

Eye Tracking

Tracking eye movements is a promising field within biometrics that enables researchers to derive internal information about individuals, particularly related to the eye muscles’ structure and brain function, says Oleg Komogortsev, associate professor of computer science and engineering, and the newest researcher in MSU’s biometrics group.

To help extract this information, Komogortsev is developing new cost- and power-effective infrared sensors, which, when included in a virtual reality, or VR, device, will be able to track eye movement with exceptionally high quality. And this kind of biometrics is extremely spoof-resistant.

Rather than using costly, image-based eye tracking technology, Komogortsev’s sensors will use only infrared light emitters and receivers driven by neural networks. After an individual uses a VR viewer equipped with the infrared sensor, the device could detect when something is amiss as it relates to the eyes or brain, thus enabling a health assessment application of the technology.

This research, funded by Google, the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology, may have such applications as interaction in VR using eye gaze, user authentication, health assessment and emotion detection, among others.

Komogortsev predicts in three to four years, the eye movement sensors developed in his lab will aid in the detection of concussions, dementia, autism and other conditions that affect vision and cognition.

Biometrics is becoming an increasingly common, and critical, component of our daily lives, and some of the nation’s foremost biometrics researchers at Michigan State University are leading exploration into applications that could make lives better by detecting health issues, preventing identity theft and enhancing security.


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