New Concepts for User Interaction in Gaming with SMI Gaze Tracking

Since Sony presented their vision for gaze interaction in PS4 games powered by SensoMotoric Instruments’ (SMI’s) eye tracking technology, SMI’s partners explore other smart multimodal user interaction concepts for gaming involving SMI gaze tracking. The goal: Make the user experience in games more fluent, immersive and life-like.

In a recent project, SMI closely cooperated with the media computer science group at University of Regensburg, Germany. Within a special semester program, supported with SMI know-how and gaze tracking systems, student teams developed prototypes of digital games with multimodal user interaction concepts including gaze tracking as a modality.

One impressive result of cooperation between SMI and the academic partner is the brand new action adventure game “ILJA” which will be presented within “Eye Play”, a special session on the combination of eye tracking and games at the CHI Play conference on October 19, 2014, in Toronto, Canada.

ILJA features next generation active multimodal user interaction with active gaze control allowing the gamers to turn, jump, select weapons, and shoot by integrating the player’s gaze into targeting and directing actions. The game is powered by SMI’s brandnew RED-n remote eye tracker  which has been made available for OEMs in August this year.

Watch ILJA video trailer:

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To create more fluent, immersive and life-like gaming experiences, innovative approaches do not merely replace the mouse by pure eye control as is well tried and tested in the assistive technology field: Multimodal interaction with gaze integration adapts the content of the game according to the visual focus of the player creating more thrill, more immersion and ultimately more fun. SMI has already presented such integration with the horror game prototype “Sophia”.

The implementation of gaze interaction in Sophia is based on typical gaze behaviour of experienced gamers. These were revealed during extensive eye tracking studies from the media computer science group of University of Regensburg. PC gaze interaction games like Sophia are designed to be used with monitor-based eye tracking peripherals like SMI’s RED-n eye tracker. For fully immersive gaming, SMI’s eye tracking technology has also been integrated in head-mounted displays such as the Oculus Rift.

SMI is a leading provider of eye and gaze tracking systems for OEM applications and scientific and professional research. With more than 20 years of experience, SMI helps OEM customers shape a vision of gaze interaction for industrial, consumer and gaming applications and for eye tracking integrations in tablet, laptops, kiosk systems and other hardware.

Christian Villwock, Director of SMI OEM Solutions Business: “It was exciting to experience the students creativity focusing on adding gaze control to computer games. It has proven again the easy use of our SDK and fast integration of SMI’s remote gaze tracking technology into new software applications.”

Contact SMI:  Stefanie Gehrke, Marcom Manager,



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