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NEW EYE TRACKING TECHNIQUES IMPROVE REALISM OF AIRCRAFT SIMULATORS A simulated flight environment for pilot training may soon be made more realistic through the use of eye-tracking technology developed by researchers at the University of Torontos Institute of Biomedical Engineering IMBE Many safety and cost benefits are obtained by training aircraft pilots under simulated conditions but to be effective the simulation must be convicingly realistic At present th e training facilities use large domes and gimballed projectors or an array of video screens to display computer-generated images But these installations are very expensive and image resolution is low Further it would take an enormous amount of addi to improve image quality significantly throughout the whole viewed scene However based on the visual properties of the eye realism can be obtained by providing a high-resolution area of interest insert within a large low-resolution field of view If the image-generating computer knows where the pilots fixation is it mage there The technology to make this possible was developed by a research team headed by Professor Richard Frecker and Professor Moshe Eizenman The work was carried out in collaboration with CAE Electronics Ltd of Montreal with financial support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Their eye-tracker can record and analyze accurately up to 500 eye positions per second The system works by means of capturing and processing the reflections of a low-level beam o f invisible infra-red light shone onto the eye Multi-element arrays capture the image of the eye and digitize the information which is then processed in real time by a fast dedicated signal processing unit The difference in position between the ligh tre of the pupil reveals the instantaneous direction of gaze Developments by the IBME team have significantly increased the speed of signal processing in addition to enhancing accuracy
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