Apple Patent Describes Gaze Tracking System

Apple Patent Describes Gaze Tracking System

A newly granted patent suggests that Apple is continuing to refine its Face ID face scanning system, and may even be planning to bring it to its laptop and desktop devices.

As Patently Apple reports, the new patent concerns gaze and head tracking. It outlines how infrared light can be used to track a user’s eye movements; meanwhile, video can be used to generate a three-dimensional model of the user’s head. These data points can be combined to enable the analysis of where the user is looking.

Patently Apple’s report emphasizes that a “key part of this invention is about Face ID being able to capture a person’s facial features and to be able to detect a user’s eyes even through glare on glasses”. The report also points out that this system could offer gaming applications, but may also be used to enhance Apple’s Face ID system on a number of devices.

Face ID is currently only available on Apple’s mobile devices, being the primary mode of authentication on all of the company’s recent iPhones, on which it replaced the Touch ID fingerprint scanning system. It’s worth noting that Touch ID also was initially restricted to Apple’s smartphones, but has gradually made its way to Apple’s laptop lineup; and presumably Apple’s leadership are now interested in bringing Face ID to a broader range of devices, too.

This is all speculation, of course. Many Apple patents describe systems and technologies that never materialize in actual products, and the patent in question here is one of almost 60 newly published Apple patents. It was filed back in Q3 of 2017, right around the time the Face ID system was first being debuted in the iPhone X.

Source: Patently Apple