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Designing interactions with eye movements at UBI Summer School

a group shot of the entire summer school

In June 2016, Microsoft SocialNUI Research Fellow Eduardo Velloso presented a one-week workshop on the next generation of interactive systems controlled by users’ eyes at the University of Oulu’s UBI Summer School in Finland. Offering participants the opportunity of immersing themselves into multidisciplinary topics in Human Computing Interaction (HCI), Ubiquitous Computing, and Informatics the event hosted 68 students from 12 countries in June 2016 in one of four parallel workshops.

Eduardo Velloso leading the workshop

Eduardo’s workshop EyeWork: Designing Interactions with Eye Movements was co-instructed with Lancaster University’s Prof Hans Gellersen. On Day 1 participants worked together to design new game mechanics that take input from users’ eyes and after being introduced to 10 principles of gaze interaction design, they sketched interactions based on these principles for several contexts and devices on Day 2. The remainder of the week was dedicated to building working prototypes of the systems they designed. These hands-on components were punctuated by short lectures designed to inspire new ideas and provide a more in-depth look at specific topics, including eye tracking techniques, social gaze, eye tracking for usability studies, eye typing, game design, and how to turn a prototype into a research project.

Three  researchers presenting the workshop outcomes

By the end of the course, all groups had a fully functioning prototype, which was presented at a plenary session to all Summer School participants. The prototypes included:

  • A competitive game in which players had to figure out what the other player was looking at based only on their gaze pattern.
  • A game where the gaze point revealed part of a blurred image, so that players had to scan the whole picture without their peripheral vision to discover what is underneath.
  • An asteroid shooting game in which the gaze point slowed down the asteroids to make it easier to shoot them.
  • A ubiquitous computing secret messaging application where users could leave hidden messages on physical objects by making an eye gesture.