Eye Fixation Monitor and Tracker

The eye fixation monitor can non-invasively and remotely detect when a human eye looks directly at it. The apparatus illuminates the eye with infrared light energy, uses a photodetection system to analyze polarization-related changes in the light reflected by the fundus of the eye, and identifies the unique pattern or signature produced when the fovea of the eye is directed toward the center of the photodetection system. All functions can be performed remotely, at a distance of several meters, without need for physical contact of any kind (no helmets, electrodes, contact lenses, or glasses) and without significant restriction of head position (free movement in lateral-vertical, anterior-posterior, and torsional dimensions). In alternative tracking configurations of the eye fixation monitor, apolarization-sensitive photodetector array is provided, optically conjugate to the plane of view. The unique polarization signature of the fovea is identified using image processing to find the location of the fixation point in the external scene. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) I. Detecting the fixation of the eye A. Monocular: Detection of one eye fixing 1. Detection of central fixation a) Remote control (1) Consumer electronics, home appliances, car radio, etc. (a) Any control currently operated with manual controls or IR/ultrasonic remote controls (b) Examples: On/off, volume, channel changing (2) Automotive, aircraft, and other machinery (3) Aid for the disabled (a) Eye-controlled "keyboard" for communication (typing) (b) Control of other motorized devices such as wheelchairs, elevators (c) Visual interaction with computer games (d) Confirming fixation for interlock type applications (1) During testing (a) Glaucoma visual field testing: confirm central fixation (b) Other eye testing: Visual evoked potentials, electroretinogram (c) Subject alertness during other forms of testing not related to vision (2) During eye surgery (a) Laser eye surgery: confirm eye position before laser is fired (3) For safety (a) Confirm awake and alert operator: Automotive, aircraft, air traffic control, other machinery (b) Detecting eye contact for research (1) Education: Viewing pattern of students during lecture (2) Advertising (a) How many times was billboard type advertisement viewed in the field (b) Combine with television channel recording for television ratings: determine not just whether channel was selected but whether anyone is watching d) Security identification (characteristic pattern of signal produces unique ID) (1) Home security (2) Door locking / unlocking (3) Credit card substitute 2. Detection of paracentral fixation a) Determination of direction of eye displacement b) Detection of eccentric fixation in patients with eye disease B. Binocular: detection of both eyes fixing 1. Detection of central fixation a) Diagnosing strabismus (misaligned eyes) automatically (1) Large scale strabismus detection 2. Detection of paracentral fixation a) Automatic measurement of strabismus II. Tracking eye movements A. Monocular 1. Pointing devices: Continuously adjustable remote control a) Camera: Direct autofocus toward object of regard b) Computer mouse control (1) Visual interaction with computer games c) Aircraft and automotive control d) Menu selection e) Guidance of camera for scanning / OCR of written material, music f) Aiming of camera slaved to the eye, for video / still recording of sports events, etc. g) Aiming weapons h) Aiming laser treatments of skin or eye i) Guidance for spraying operation (painting, insecticides, etc.) j) Target selection on highway radar screens k) Guidance of scanner for check-out / inventory operations l) Mail sorting m) Selection of options during online video editing / directing n) Selection of target by air traffic controllers o) Automated bookmaking for gambling p) Scanning of cards played during blackjack q) Dispatching taxies, battlefield components 2. Continuous measurement of eye position a) Clinical device similar to electro-oculogram b) Mapping object of regard while viewing pictures (1) Psychological / behavioral research (2) Advertising B. Binocular 1. Measure change in alignment of two eyes during eye movements 2. Diagnose eye misalignment caused by nerve weakness 3. Stereoscopic guidance 4. Feedback eye exercises 5. Sports vision exercises III. Studying eye structure A. Diagnosing structural abnormalities of the eye 1. Glaucoma - loss of nerve fibers 2. Macular edema - disorganization of foveal structure 3. Mass screening for foveal disease and/or glaucoma B. Studying changes in the eye with age and disease 1. Loss of nerve fibers with age Patent (Set) 6,027,216;

US 6,027,216

Inventor(s): Guyton, David

Type of Offer: Licensing

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