Apple always comes up with exciting patents like fingerprint sensor, pinch zoom and many other all the time. Recently, Apple has been given a green light by USPTO(United States Patent and Trademark Office)with one of its patent related to eye tracking technology. Apple had registered for this eye tracking patent earlier in 2012. However, Apple takes its time to implement its approved patents in its devices.
Apple eye tracking patent is different from the one in Samsung Galaxy smartphones in which the page will be scrolled up or down depending on the direction of your eyes, top or bottom. However, this eye tracking patent by Apple is not concentrated on this and deals with curbing visual effects which occur when a user stares at the screen for a long stretch of time. This effect leads the user into a state where he/she can’t distinguish where the mouse cursor is in case of Laptop/computer. Also, sometimes it is experienced that some items disappear or fade when one looks at another fixed point for a long stretch of time. This effect is known as Troxler effect and Apple eye tracking patent is aimed to resist it.
Patent describes that Mac and iOS devices will use their built in Camera to track user eye movement and map it to the on screen elements, like the cursor. The cursor will then in turn track user eye direction and map it to on screen activity.
Apple would dearly want to work on this as this the major problem one faces and is not addressed by anyone right now. However, it is not an easy problem to resolve and will definitely take time but the approval of the patent by USPTO is going to invigorate Apple.
So lets wait and see when will Apple implement eye tracker technology in iOS and OS X.