Snap, along with other tech companies, is actively exploring the development of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology. They are particularly interested in eye-tracking capabilities for their AR glasses and have filed a patent for this purpose. The proposed system works by generating an “anchor point” in the user’s field of view, which indicates their focus. Using this anchor point, the system identifies a surface within the user’s view and measures the distance between that surface and the anchor point. Based on this distance, AR content is generated and can change as the user moves closer or farther away from it. This approach, known as foveated rendering, reduces latency, increases efficiency in processing captured data, and minimizes power consumption.
Snap plans to incorporate numerous sensors into their glasses to track head orientation, pupil or iris movement, facial expressions, hand movements, biometric data like heart rate or pupil dilation, and even speech recognition. By collecting and analyzing these data points, Snap aims to create more immersive experiences while also potentially enabling hyper-targeted advertising. Tracking where users look can help determine optimal ad placement and gather insights into consumer behavior and attention.
Other companies such as Meta and Apple are also investing in gaze-based control of content through eye-tracking technologies in their respective devices.
Experts believe that eye tracking has immense potential for transforming how users interact with technology. It may become a new standard interaction paradigm similar to how touchscreens replaced physical buttons on smartphones. The ability to accurately track eye movements can provide valuable information about user preferences and engagement levels.
For Snap, incorporating vision tracking into its AR glasses could open up new revenue streams by offering targeted advertising solutions at a time when traditional digital advertising faces challenges due to declining demand. By leveraging the wealth of information obtained through eye-tracking technology, Snap hopes to create memorable experiences that resonate with users.