Scientific and Technical Challenges of Communication by Gaze

08 Dec
Monday, 12/08/2008 5:30am to 6:45am

Anthony Hornof
University of Oregon
Department of Computer and Information Science

Computer Science Building, Room 151

Eye movements can be tracked and utilized for a wide range of creative activities. Dr. Hornof has developed a number of eye-controlled interfaces, including EyeDraw and EyeMusic. EyeDraw is software that is specifically designed to enable children with motor impairments to draw pictures using their eye movements. EyeDraw has been extensively tested and validated, and is now distributed with a commercial eye tracker. EyeMusic is a system developed for computer musicians (without motor impairments) that enables a performer to control a new media art performance with just his or her eye movements. EyeMusic compositions have been performed at major computer music conferences.

There are a number of challenges specific to creating eye-controlled interfaces: Understanding and decomposing a human task to the point that it can be dictated by a series of eye movements; developing eye-controlled software within the constraints of existing frameworks for programming graphical user interfaces; connecting software across platforms, working with children and adults with severe motor impairments as software testers and collaborators; getting comfortable and integrated with a unique physical and social environment; providing roles for caregivers and siblings in the software; and building teams that span incredibly disparate disciplines and practices. Solving these problems are critical to solving the difficult problem of delivering complex, thoughtful, and yet easy-to-use eye-controlled communication systems.

Dr. Anthony J. Hornof is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Oregon. Dr. Hornof earned his Ph.D. in 1999 and his Master's degree in 1996, both from the University of Michigan, and both in Computer Science and Engineering. He received a B.A. in Computer Science from Columbia University in 1988. After college, he remained in New York City for five years (1988-1993) where he worked as an information technology specialist for Deloitte and Touche, and also part-time as a deejay at nightclubs such as Save the Robots and M.K. He also pursued mixed-media painting during these years, and his work was featured in group shows in New York City. In 1993, he redirected his creative and intellectual energies towards a career in academia, where he now integrates his interests in computing, human factors, and creative expression. Dr. Hornof is published in the leading human-computer interaction conferences and journals, and has been awarded over $1.75 million in single-investigator research grants, including multiple awards from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.