NTT Docomo shows off “Eye-Controlled Earphones” at CTIA 2010

Now this is why I go to conferences like CTIA 2010, to see a man control headphones with his eyes.

Yes, it is true, and it was on display at the NTT Docomo booth. Here is how it works. Apparently, it can detect eye movement by electrodes. Eyeballs have electric potential positive at the cones, and its negative at the retina. When the eyes are looking forward, they both carry a neutral charge. When one looks left, the left side carries a positive charge and the right side is a negative. When one looks right, the charges on the sides of the face switch to the right side being positive and the left side being negative.

The charge around the eye changes with the eye movement, and this signal is captured by an electrode called an electroculogram (EOG). So, moving your eyes quickly from right to left is like pushing play or pause. Two quick shifts to the right is advance track forward, and shifting your eyes around in a circle will adjust the volume.

If you are thinking that I am joking with this report, I am not. Those two diagrams to the left of the man standing in the photo is my source material. If it’s lying, then I am, but I’m just repeating what I saw.

Are we looking at age when the controls for headphones will be on our eyes? I’m just going to leave it at that.