With a Flick of the Eye: Assessing Gaze-Controlled Human-Computer Interaction

  • Hendrik Koesling
  • Martin Zoellner
  • Lorenz Sichelschmidt
  • Helge Ritter
Part of the Cognitive Systems Monographs book series (COSMOS, volume 6)


Gaze-controlled user interfaces appear to be a viable alternative to manual mouse control in human-computer interaction. Eye movements, however, often occur involuntarily and fixations do not necessarily indicate an intention to interact with a particular element of a visual display. To address this so-called Midas-touch problem, we investigated two methods of object/action selection using volitional eye movements, fixating versus blinking, and evaluated error rates, response times, response accuracy and user satisfaction in a text-typing task. Results show significantly less errors for the blinking method while task completion times do only vary between methods when practice is allowed. In that case, the fixation method is quicker than the blinking method. Also, participants rate the fixation method higher for its ease of use and regard it as less tiring. In general, blinking appears more suited for sparse and non-continuous input (e.g., when operating ticket vending machines), whereas fixating seems preferable for tasks requiring more rapid and continuous selections (e.g., when using virtual keyboards). We could demonstrate that the quality of the selection method does not rely on efficiency measures (e.g., error rate or task completion time) alone: user satisfaction measures must certainly be taken into account as well to ensure user-friendly interfaces and, furthermore, gaze-controlled interaction methods must be adapted to specific applications.


Completion Time Gender Group Target Sentence Task Completion Time Interaction Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Burr, D.: Eye Movements: Keeping Vision Stable. Current Biology 14, 195–197 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Helmert, J.R., Pannasch, S., Velichkovsky, B.M.: Influences of dwell time and cursor control on the performance in gaze driven typing. Journal of Eye Movement Research 2(4, 3), 1–8 (2008)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Itti, L., Koch, C., Niebur, E.: A Model of Saliency-Based Visual Attention for Rapid Scene Analysis. IEEE Trans. on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence 20, 1254–1259 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jacob, R.J.K.: Eye Tracking in Advanced Interace Design. In: Barfield, W., Furness III, T.A. (eds.) Virtual Environments and Advanced Interface Design, pp. 258–288. Oxford University Press, New York (1995)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Just, M.A., Carpenter, P.A.: A theory of reading: From eye fixations to comprehension. Psychological Review 87, 329–354 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Korn, H.: Schizophrenia and eye movement - a new diagnostic and therapeutic concept. Medical Hypotheses 62, 29–34 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pomplun, M., Carbone, E., Koesling, H., Sichelschmidt, L., Ritter, H.: Computational models of visual tagging. In: Rickheit, G., Wachsmuth, I. (eds.) Situated Communication, pp. 209–242. De Gruyter, Berlin (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rayner, K.: Understanding eye movements in reading. Scientific Studies of Reading 1, 317–339 (1997)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rettie, R., Brewer, C.: The verbal and visual components of package design. Journal of Product and Brand Management 9, 56–70 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stampe, D.: Heuristic filtering and reliable calibration methods for video-based pupil-tracking systems. Behavioral Research Methods, Instruments and Computers 25, 137–142 (1993)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Underwood, G.: Eye fixations on pictures of natural scenes: getting the gist and identifying the components. In: Underwood, G. (ed.) Cognitive Processes in Eye Guidance, pp. 163–187. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Vertegaal, R.: Designing attentive interfaces. In: Proceedings of the symposium on eye tracking research and applications (ETRA 2002), pp. 22–30 (2002)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zhai, S.: What’s in the eyes for attentive input. Communication ACM 46, 34–39 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hendrik Koesling
    • 1
  • Martin Zoellner
    • 1
  • Lorenz Sichelschmidt
    • 2
  • Helge Ritter
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of TechnologyBielefeld UniversityGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Linguistics and Literary StudiesBielefeld UniversityGermany

Personalised recommendations