In order to better study hand/eye coordination, scientists need to simultaneously keep track of what a test subject is looking at, along with what their body is doing – and a new system is designed to help them do so. It combines one company's eye-tracking glasses with another's motion capture system.
The glasses are made by SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), and incorporate sensors that track the movements of the wearer's eyes. Optical tracking targets can be snapped onto those glasses, allowing their location and orientation in space to be picked up by the other component of the setup, a motion capture system manufactured by Qualisys. Test subjects wear additional targets on other key parts of their bodies, so that those can also be tracked.
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As can be seen below, the result is video footage in which the subjects (or wire frame representations of them) can be seen, with arrows indicating the direction of their gaze.
According to SMI, the composite system "helps behavioral psychologists and biomechanics researchers to study embodied cognition and to characterize hand-eye coordination – how it is learned, how it is optimized but also how it is affected by disease, aging or injury."
This means that the technology could be used in applications ranging from rehabilitation to optimizing the performance of athletes.