eBay has introduced new technology that monitors users’ head motions to navigate an iPhone’s user interface. The technology, HeadGaze, was developed by a team at eBay and resulted in a test app (HeadSwipe) that allows users to swipe deals on eBay through head movements. HeadGaze and HeadSwipe utilize Apple ARKit and the iPhone X camera to track head motion.
“eBay is dedicated to investigating the profound impact that many expect AI will have on the world,” Muratcan Cicek, eBay Intern and PHD candidate, commented in a eBay news announcement. “It is because of HeadGaze’s potential to make a tremendous impact on the lives of many people that we are open-sourcing this tool. We want to encourage developers to build more apps that don’t require screen touch.”
As Cicek mentioned, eBay has open sourced HeadGaze. For license information, and sample uses, check out GitHub. The team hopes that developers will utilize the technology to build useful experiences for disabled users and those that don’t have full use of their hands.
HeadGaze uses a virtual stylus that follows the motion of a user’s head (e.g. up, down, side to side). HeadGaze pulls 3D information from ARKit and applies mapping to determine the location of a virtual cursor. A widget responds to the cursor interaction. With access to a cursor, a user can utilize buttons similar to the way a mouse interacts with buttons on a screen.
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