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Optoelectronics/Displays  

Camera tracks every look on ad

Posted: 14 May 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Eyebox  tracking devices  PageRank technology  attentive user interface  eye tracker 

Canadian start-up Xuuk Inc. claims to have developed a video camera called Eyebox that can log each time you directly look at billboards or products in mall corridors or on store shelves, and count them in much the same way as Google counts clicks for online ads.

Using its PageRank technology, Google has been able to collect revenue from advertisers based on the number of ads on which people are clicking.

The Eyebox consists of a palm-sized video camera surrounded by infrared LEDs and a USB interface. Software running on an attached computer can determine whether someone is looking at the camera by recognising the "red eye" spot, which only appears when a viewer is looking directly at the camera.

It is possible to track eye movements today, but the laboratory setups to do so cost Rs.10.57 lakh ($25,000) and up. In addition, the viewer must be no more than 2ft away and must remain stationary, and the setup must be calibrated for each individual. Xuuk claims to have extended the range of the Eyebox to 32ft and eliminated the need for personal calibration. And people walking by don't have to stop in order to be counted.

Because the light is infrared, the user is unaware of being observed. Xuuk emphasises that no user identity data is collected. Instead, the device simply counts how many people per day have looked at an ad or product. By using a separate Eyebox for each billboard or product on a shelf, advertisers can be charged on a "per look" basis.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times




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