The future of Eyetracking

The Union Tribune has a great article about Eyetracking. The article describes what Eyetracking is currently used for and what could be the future of it. Current Eye tracking studies, that we can see in the online world are pretty simple right now. A few heatmaps here, a few usability studies there. Other industries are far ahead and the Eyetracking reseach is extremly interesting:

"When surgeons operate while wearing an eye-tracking device, researchers can see how each eye is working. “In something like a surgery, where spatial skills are very important, you expect to see a really active left eye,”

Not only in surgery, but also in pilot training programs it is amazing what is already done. But the future of Eyetracking looks even brighter and I am sure that some of the techniques will be able to change the way we use the web:

"At Imperial College in London and elsewhere, scientists have built computer systems roughly controlled by the user's eyes. An infra-red eye-tracking headset tells the computer where on the monitor the user is looking, allowing the user to perform tasks by sight alone, such as moving a cursor or clicking on a function."

This sounds very impressive and we probably don't need a mouse and the keyboard anymore. But it gets even better:

"...Marshall sees improvements coming. Her latest equipment, the computer used by Davis, employs a hidden camera below the monitor, completely unattached to the user.

Anthony Hornof, an associate professor of computer and information science at the University of Oregon, envisions future systems that would be completely transparent – “that can monitor exactly where you are looking down to the pixel level, no matter where your head is in front of the computer.”"

I just can imagine what will happen in the future: Customized Websites and Advertising, that react according to your eye movements and clickstream history. Scary!