As if Google Glass wasn’t already creepy enough, Google has submitted another crazy patent for the wearable technology. The company has patented a method of being able to tell exactly what users are looking at. This is facilitated by the simultaneous use of both a front facing camera and a camera that tracks eye movement. Here is the full, scary, creepy explanation outlined in the patent submission:
A gaze tracking technique is implemented with a head mounted gaze tracking device that communicates with a server. The server receives scene images from the head mounted gaze tracking device which captures external scenes viewed by a user wearing the head mounted device. The server also receives gaze direction information from the head mounted gaze tracking device.
The gaze direction information indicates where in the external scenes the user was gazing when viewing the external scenes. An image recognition algorithm is executed on the scene images to identify items within the external scenes viewed by the user. A gazing log tracking the identified items viewed by the user is generated.
According to the long list of claims in the patent filing, the technology would not only be able to tell what you looked at, but for how long you were looking at it. It would allow Google to charge advertisers based on how long a user was looking at an ad inside of, say, a Google Glass application.
Google would also enable users to view a “gazing log” that could let folks know what, exactly, they looked at back to a certain amount of time, meaning your memories truly are being “captured.” I’m not sure how I feel about all of this just yet, nor are we certain that this technology can be implemented in a feasible and practical way, but it’s interesting nonetheless. You can check out the more boring bits of the patent for yourself over at the USPTO.