Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Diverges Into A New Tech: Eye-Tracking For Head-Mounted Displays

The traditional way of eye-tracking is by the help of a partial reflector that bends the camera’s line of sight directly to one’s temple. It can also be done by affixing a camera to the frame of the HMD, which is apparently the most painless way. However, even as painless as it is, it has special requirements; at least part of the view is hampered by the rig itself. Nonetheless, word has it that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is considering the possibility of eye-tracking tech for head-mounted displays (HMDs).

The technology uses “waveguides” to track infrared-lit peepers. It is more of an attempt to mitigate various compatibility issues that come along with prescription eyewear. MSPoweruser seems to be certain about Microsoft’s move given its recent unearthing of a patent filing which is expected to provide a solution. It will be making use of both an input coupler and an output coupler.

The patent summarizes how the infrared beams works

The idea is attractive given that it is of advanced stuff.  However, even though the technology isn’t present in HoloLens as it is known Microsoft is in no doubt that it will excel in the area. Apparently, HoloLens looks and feels like a premium device despite being sensitive to handle. The infrared beams work hand in hand with the curved grating lines of the input coupler to produce an eye-tracking effect.

Nonetheless, there is notable competition in the eye-tracking tech.  SensoMotoric Instruments is likely to bring on board eye-tracking gadgetry in its upcoming demo of products at CES next month.

Himax is believed to be supplying Microsoft HoloLens

According to analysts, Microsoft is focusing on Himax; an augmented reality component supplier to supply some of its important elements of the HoloLens. It is suspected that the company will be shifting production to a new more refined HoloLens for H2 2017.  However,  Himax has had a share of challenges; declined sales in its  LCOS and WLO product lines

Nonetheless, it is still not clear whether or not Microsoft will support other players who are interested in the industry. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s stock closed at $63.24 a decline of $0.31 or 0.49%.

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