New Eye-Tracking VR Tech Can Read Your Emotions

Eyefluence hopes to improve narrative capabilities of VR with better eye-tracking interface.

7. 27. 16 by Jelor Gallego
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Image by Getty Images

Looking at the Eyes

The emerging world of virtual reality has given new worlds of possibility to many different fields. Even so, it has created more of a problem to one group: storytellers. How to you tell a story when your audience can actually sit up, leave the narrative, and look behind a corner or stare at a flower?

That’s why optics company Eyefluence has built an interface that facilitates interaction using only the eyes. The user will be able to choose photographs, type messages, and many more using only sight. No tapping, swiping, or even talking; this interface will literally read your eyes.

As Eyefluence CEO Jim Marggraff explains “Your eyes are the fastest-moving organs in your body.” He hopes the interface can find a niche in narrative applications. In a short video titled The Language of Looking, presented at the annual Future of Storytelling summit, Marggraff connects immersive storytelling and how sight can be used to push a narrative forward in VR.

Windows to the Soul

The main challenge is maintaining the rhythm and tempo of a story if the user is a consequential participant. If you are telling a fast-paced story and the user starts to slow down and stare at the sky, how do you move forward?


Eyefluence’s interface can read the eyes and tell the interest and intent of the user. “The software looks at the participant’s behavior to decide when it needs to move them along, when to deliver key points on the story level.” Margraff tells Engadget.

Working with VR content studio Rival Theory, Eyefluence can pair the sight-based interface with characters which have their own AI. This means that based on sight alone, the characters in the story can know the feelings and reactions of the user, creating memories and bonds the AI and the story can go back to anytime.

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