General, Research, Technology

What can you learn about a person by the movements of his eyes?

In Russian there is a proverb "eyes are a mirrorsouls ". It means that the feelings and intentions of any person can be recognized simply by looking into their eyes. There is a lot of truth in the proverb, because you can certainly easily distinguish a sad look from a joyful one. This feature of human eyes is actively used by Apple, Google and Microsoft. They have been collecting anonymous user data for a long time and use it to display the most relevant ads. But relatively recently, large corporations have begun to implement eye tracking, also known as "eye tracking", into their devices. Previously, this technology could only be used in a laboratory setting, but now the front cameras of smartphones are so powerful that they allow the technology to be used everywhere. Let's find out what interesting things about a person can be learned by studying the movements of his eyes?

Your eye movements can tell a lot about you.

What can a person's eyes tell?

The fact that companies track eye movementsnot taken out of thin air - this was recently written in the New Atlas. Eye tracking gives companies the ability to understand which objects on the smartphone screen the user pays the most attention to. Thanks to the collected statistics, application developers can place advertisements and other important elements in the best place for this. However, journalists assure that companies monitor not only eye movements, but other indicators as well. These include the speed of movement, the constriction and dilation of the pupils, the position of the eyelids, facial expressions, and so on. These parameters can provide a lot of information about people.

Smartphones know more about ourselves than we do

It is reported that using the front camera of a smartphone, companies can find out the following user data:

  • gender, age and nationality;
  • weight and other body parameters;
  • frequency of use of drugs and prohibited substances;
  • mood and existing fears;
  • sexual preferences are also interesting.

And this is not all that "eye tracking" canfind out about the person. This document also says that eye movements can be used to diagnose a person's predisposition to certain diseases. In particular, it mentions autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. By the way, I talked about the last disease in this article.

Brain damage in Parkinson's disease. It is reported that even this disease can be diagnosed by eye movements.

In 2018, researchers confirmed thateye movements can predict what results certain people may receive when passing psychological tests. For example, a person's gaze can reveal his tendency to neuroticism - this is the name of a personality trait, which is characterized by emotional instability, a high level of anxiety and low self-esteem. Also, phobias of a person can be determined by the eyes. My colleague Lyubov Sokovikova previously wrote more about what phobias are and where they come from.

Interesting fact: the color and pattern of the iris of each eyea person is as unique as a fingerprint. Therefore, smartphones can recognize the identity of each person. Also, some systems take into account other parameters like the shape of the face - the work of Face ID and similar face recognition technologies is based on this data.

How does eye tracking work?

Ultimately, it turns out that large companiesknow more about us than ourselves. You may not even suspect that you have a predisposition to certain mental illnesses, and your smartphone has been aware of this for a long time. But how does it work? If you understand the principles of eye-tracking, you need to read a single book and take many courses. In short, companies use neural networks that receive images from cameras and recognize the movements of the eyes and facial muscles. They have instructions in advance like "if a person's pupils dilate, then what is happening on the screen he likes." A very rough example, but the essence of the technology is easier to explain in this way.

Areas in Google search results that users pay the most attention to in red

Dangers of Tracking Human Eyeslies in the fact that the collected data can be sold to cybercriminals. Today, information is a very valuable commodity for which people are willing to pay large sums. But, if you look at the technology from the other side, thanks to it, we are shown a more suitable ad. And this is not bad, because thanks to advertising, we can quickly buy what we need.

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Finally, I would like to ask:Do you believe that companies are monitoring you through smartphone cameras, microphones, and so on? Recently, I had a case when my friends and I were discussing sleep paralysis, and at the same time none of us searched for information on this topic on the Internet. But the next day, we got advertisements about sleep paralysis. Have you had this? Share in the comments or in our Telegram chat.