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Pepperoni? Mushroom? The Eyes Have It.

At Critical Link, we have a lot of interest in vision technology. Our MityCAM and MityCCD cameras are a key part of our business. And I just, in general, like seeing new applications of vision technology in action – even if, as happened recently in Germany, it did end up getting me a ticket. (I blogged about it here.)

All this said, I don’t know quite what to make about a new system for ordering pizza toppings that Pizza Hut is trying out, which I read about in Engadget a couple of months back. With the Subconscious Menu – which is being trialed – the customer looks at tPizza Hut Menuhe tablet and, based on how long their eye lingers on any one object, the system analyzes what toppings they want.  I don’t know about you, but my eye might be drawn to that green stuff, wondering whether someone actually wants Bibb lettuce on their pizza. But Pizza Hut claims that the accuracy rate is about 98%.  Here I’m again a bit skeptical. I’m sure there are many diners who just might go along with it when presented with the information that a really smart computer system analyzed their eye movements and decided that they really did want the green stuff that looks like Bibb lettuce. Instead of what they really wanted, which was pepperoni and pineapple. (Pineapple?)

A video showing how all this works can be found here.

As ever, I want to know more about the underlying technology, which comes from Tobii, which focuses on eye tracking.

Eye tracking technology has a lot of applications:

“Leading consumer goods companies use eye tracking to optimize product packaging and retail shelf design. Market research companies and major advertisers use it to optimize print and TV ads. Product companies use it to optimize interaction design. Web companies use it to optimize online user experiences. And universities use it for research in psychology, neurology and medicine.”

“New types of medical diagnostics have also been made possible by eye tracking, as well as safety applications that monitor user attention in critical situations.”(Source: Tobii)

Gaming is also a biggie for eye-tracking. As is – or will be – the ordering of pizza toppings.