I just found a really interesting article in my Reader. It’s about eye-tracking technology and its use in [some] games.
The current interface requires a learning curve to use without, imho, much added value. That said, I have to admit I don’t play first person shooters, or the kinds of games where speed and twitch response are key.
There is one area, however, where I can see this technology becoming absolutely vital – and that’s in VR [virtual reality]:
Eye-tracking is critical to a technology called foveated rendering. With it, the screen will fully render the area that your eye is looking at. But beyond your peripheral vision, it won’t render the details that your eye can’t see.
This technique can save an enormous amount of graphics processing power. (Nvidia estimates foveated rendering can reduce graphics processing by up to three times). That is useful in VR because it takes a lot of graphics processing power to render VR images for both of your eyes. VR should be rendered at 90 frames per second in each eye in order to avoid making the user dizzy or sick.
A brief explanation is in order for non-gamers. Currently, there are two ways of viewing a game:
- from the first person perspective
- from the third person perspective
In first person perspective, you do not see your own body. Instead, the graphics attempt to present the view you would see if you were actually physically playing the game.
In third person perspective, you ‘follow’ behind your body, essentially seeing your character’s back the whole time. This view has advantages as it allows you to see much more in your ‘peripheral’ vision than you would if you were looking out through your character’s eyes.
In VR, however, the aim is not just to make you see what your character sees, the idea is to make you feel that you are your character. A vision system that mimicked how your eyes work by tracking your actual eye movements would increase immersion by an order of magnitude. And, of course, the computer resources freed up by this more efficient way of rendering would allow the game to create more realistic graphics elsewhere.
You can read the full article here:
I predict that voice recognition and eye tracking are going to become key technologies in the not too distant future, not just for games but for augmented* reality as well.
Have a great Sunday,
*Augmented reality does not seek to recreate reality, like VR. It merely projects additional ‘objects’ on top of the reality that’s already there.