Now, a game that hides baddies by tracking players eye movements

February 2nd, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by admin  

London, February 2 (ANI): Canadian researchers have developed a video game that tracks the movements of a players eyes to locate enemies where they are least likely to be seen.

The researchers purpose behind designing this game was to test how eye movements could betray where a persons attention is focused. Their main idea was to render players unable to expect that baddies would appear in particular locations.

“We could make it harder if we presented important game-related items where we didn’t think people were paying attention,” New Scientist quoted James J Clark, a computer vision researcher at McGill University in Montreal, as saying.

Clark and colleague Li Jie knew that it was easy to track eye movements using small cameras that follow the movement of a person’s pupils, but they also knew that the place someone’s eyes are pointing at is not always the place they are most aware of.

For predicting where a person’s attention was focused, they tested subjects’ reactions to an image suddenly appearing on the computer screen under different circumstances.

The experiment showed that people find it harder to divert their attention to a new object when they are looking at a fixed point in a complex part of a scene.

It also confirmed previous findings that, while looking at a moving object, people tend to focus their attention slightly ahead of it.

The researchers made full use of their findings to design the game that could choose to make enemies appear in places where they would be either easy or hard to see.

They revealed that the game tracks a player’s eyes to work out areas to which they are paying most or least attention.

Clark hopes that his teams work may be used to design harder video games, especially, if games eventually come packaged with eye tracking devices.

Ronald Rensink, a vision researcher at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, welcomed Clarks research.

“That’s a good one. I’ve been talking about this as a possible approach. It’s good to see someone has made it happen. If you can predict attention, you can improve performance,” he said.

A paper on the McGill research will appear in a future edition of ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications. (ANI)

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