Eye-controlled mobile phone unveiled by DoCoMo
A new prototype device allows users to make and receive calls, and even play music, just by moving their eyes.
Special electrodes, attached to a set of earphones, are able to pick up the movement of the eye.
Eyes have "electrical potential" - positive at the cornea and negative at the retina - and this electrical potential changes depending on the movement of the eyeball. The system works even when a person's eyes are closed.
The earphone electrodes are able to read these changing currents - known as an electrooculogram - and the mobile phone is pre-programmed to translate that information in to a command. So a user can make or receive a call, simply by moving their eyes to the right, then to the left, then back to the right again.
Similarly, music stored on the mobile phone can be played or paused using eyeball movement - shifting the eye right and then left will play or stop a track, while moving eyes right and right again will skip to the next track.
The volume can be increased by moving the eyes up, then right, then down and left, and decreased by rotating eyes anti-clockwise.
NTT DoCoMo, the Japanese mobile phone operator, says the system is only a prototype, but it provides an insight in to the way we might be using our phones in years to come.
"In future, phones will be worn like accessories," said a spokesman. "We're keen to find new natural-gesture interfaces and clever ways of interacting with these devices to suit this anticipated future use."