Google knows what you shop for online, where you go, and (sometimes) what you buy. If you’re looking for something, Google is often the go-to source for finding it. Somehow, some way, Google seems to have all the answers.
Google is now intent on actually knowing what you’re looking for — or at. A new patent filed by the Mountain View company wishes to track your eyeball, a bit like Samsung’s new devices do. The difference is that Google wants to know what you’re looking at in the real world, not on your device. The patent “Abstract” reads:
A gaze tracking technique is implemented with a head mounted gaze tracking device that communicates with a server. The server receives scene images from the head mounted gaze tracking device which captures external scenes viewed by a user wearing the head mounted device. The server also receives gaze direction information from the head mounted gaze tracking device. The gaze direction information indicates where in the external scenes the user was gazing when viewing the external scenes. An image recognition algorithm is executed on the scene images to identify items within the external scenes viewed by the user. A gazing log tracking the identified items viewed by the user is generated.
The patent goes on to note how long you were viewing something, and that headwear like Glass could, via the outward facing camera, decipher what it was you were looking at. It could gauge your pupil reaction to the item, and of course where you were when viewing it via tethering to your smartphone’s GPS.
This has a lot of possibilities, and probably a lot of detractors. Tracking eye movement has benefits (keeping drivers from being distracted), but also a lot of concerns (privacy). It will be interesting to see how this is implemented, if it ever gets to that point. The “gazing log” has me interested, though. Puts a whole new spin on the term “browser history”.