Saturday, March 19, 2011


The Eyes Have It

March 15, 2011
by gardenserf
Due to severe limitations on my time, I’m not able to stitch all of this into a nice essay. I’ll apologize in advance to the handful of readers who don’t like it when I appear to drop a trail of bread crumbs.
I’m one of those people who it only takes a single phrase or word to grab my attention like a magnet when I intuitively know more is there beneath the surface. This intuition is based on past experience. The following paragraph contained such a phrase:
Security: Documents Reveal TSA Research Proposal To Body-Scan Pedestrians, Train Passengers
One project allocated to Northeastern University and Siemens would mount backscatter x-ray scanners and video cameras on roving vans, along with other cameras on buildings and utility poles, to monitor groups of pedestrians, assess what they carried, and even track their eye movements. In another program, the researchers were asked to develop a system of long range x-ray scanning to determine what metal objects an individual might have on his or her body at distances up to thirty feet.
A little more than 11 years ago I saw this technology at work. This was not in the military or in a government agency. Data had already been collected and fully crunched for a certain sub-population of criminals. Their eye movements for a set of still frame pictures had been tracked and compared to the non-offending “normal” population. I could go into more detail about locations of their focus on the photos, dwell times, etc. but my own time restricts this and it wasn’t my project. I don’t consider myself an expert at all in it. Since then, though, I’m sure the data sets have evolved to include moving video and it’s not much of a leap to do this with objects in real time. In any case, it’s quicker for me to post some videos from youtube and additional links for you to do more research.
Eye tracking for advertising to consumer groups:

rest at link:

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