Controlling SmartGit using an eye tracker

While eye trackers are not (yet) common computer peripherals, they have some fascinating potential to change the way we could be interacting with computers. I’ve done some experiments with the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C, a low-priced consumer device, to see whether/how it might improve SmartGit’s usability. The device is not pixel-precise, hence the interaction has to be restricted to larger areas of SmartGit’s user interface. The four screencasts below include the “gaze trace” and give some ideas of how eye tracking based interaction could look like:

Expanding/enlarging focused views, like the Journal

Adding details to focused (groups of) UI elements

Note that at least for my eyes, the precision was not sufficient to determine a single focused row in the tree, but only a bunch of 3-5 rows.

Scrolling the Commits graph by gazing to the top/bottom of the graph

Activating a (hidden) tab