Professor Roel VertegaalThe USA Today article Device watches you watching ads from afar said
A Canadian professor has developed technology that allows advertisers to count the number of people who look at their billboards and screens.
Roel Vertegaal’s Xuuk eyebox2 is a $999 portable device with a camera that monitors eye movements and automatically detects when you are looking at it from up to about 35 feet away. Until now, Vertegaal says, such eye-trackers have been ineffective beyond 2 feet, required people to remain stationary and cost more than $25,000.
“It can track interest for your advertisers so you can actually have a business model where you sell the ad by the eyeball,” said Vertegaal, a professor at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.
Roel Vertegaal, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in Human-Computer
Interaction (HCI) at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and
director of the Human Media Laboratory. He is also CEO of
Xuuk, Inc., a
startup that develops attention sensors for interactive, real-world
viewing statistics gathering.
Roel is one of the world’s experts on eye communication between humans, and between humans and technology. He received the Premier of Ontario’s Research Excellence Award for his work on Attentive User Interfaces (AUI), which was featured in media across the globe, from Good Morning America to Scientific American.
He helped create the first North-American conference on Eye Tracking (ACM ETRA), established alt.chi as the alternative papers venue at the annual ACM SIGCHI conference and advised the National Academy of Sciences. His current interest is in Organic User Interfaces.
Roel authored The GAZE Groupware System: Mediating Joint Attention in Multiparty Communication and Collaboration and Attentive User Interfaces, and coauthored Eye Gaze Patterns in Conversations: There is More to Conversational Agents Than Meets the Eyes, Interacting with Groups of Computers, Using Mental Load for Managing Interruptions in Physiologically Attentive User Interfaces, GAZE-2: Conveying Eye Contact in Group Video Conferencing Using Eye-Controlled Camera Direction, Effects of Gaze on Multiparty Mediated Communication, Towards a musician’s cockpit: Transducers, feedback, and musical function, Why Conversational Agents Should Catch the Eye, and Attentive Office Cubicles: Mediating Visual and Auditory Interactions Between Office Co-Workers.
His first degree is in Electronic Music from Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands. He earned an MSc in Computing in Britain, studied design in The Hague, and earned a PhD in HCI from Twente University. His patents include Interaction techniques for flexible displays, Method and apparatus for calibration-free eye tracking using multiple glints or surface reflections, and Method and apparatus for communication between humans and devices.
Watch his Google Tech Talk Selling Interest by the Eye Ball: From Socially Aware Apps To Pagerank for the Real World. Watch Eyebox2. Read New, Flexible Computers Use Displays With Any Shape, Queen’s Researchers Invent Computers That “Pay Attention” To Users; Reduce Interruptions From E-mail, Cell Phones, Digital Appliances, and “Here’s Looking At You” Has New Meaning: Eye Contact Shown To Affect Conversation Patterns, Group Problem-Solving Ability.