Home India Indian-origin...

Indian-origin Scientist develops Software that turns Smartphones into an Eye-Tracking device

A discovery that can help in psychological experiments and marketing research

2
Representational Image- Eye. Image source: galaxys8info.com

New York: Researchers led by an Indian-origin scientist have developed a software that can turn any smartphone into an eye-tracking device, a discovery that can help in psychological experiments and marketing research.

In addition to making existing applications of eye-tracking technology more accessible, the system could enable new computer interfaces or help detect signs of incipient neurological disease or mental illness.

Since few people have the external devices, there’s no big incentive to develop applications for them.

“Since there are no applications, there’s no incentive for people to buy the devices. We thought we should break this circle and try to make an eye tracker that works on a single mobile device, using just your front-facing camera,” explained Aditya Khosla, graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Follow NewsGram on Facebook: NewsGram

Khosla and his colleagues from MIT and University of Georgia built their eye tracker using machine learning, a technique in which computers learn to perform tasks by looking for patterns in large sets of training examples.

Currently, Khosla says, their training set includes examples of gaze patterns from 1,500 mobile-device users.

Previously, the largest data sets used to train experimental eye-tracking systems had topped out at about 50 users.

To assemble data sets, “most other groups tend to call people into the lab,” Khosla says.

“It’s really hard to scale that up. Calling 50 people in itself is already a fairly tedious process. But we realised we could do this through crowdsourcing,” he added.

In the paper, the researchers report an initial round of experiments, using training data drawn from 800 mobile-device users.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter: @NewsGram1

On that basis, they were able to get the system’s margin of error down to 1.5 centimetres, a twofold improvement over previous experimental systems.

The researchers recruited application users through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing site and paid them a small fee for each successfully executed tap. The data set contains, on average, 1,600 images for each user.

The team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the University of Georgia described their new system in a paper set to presented at the “Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition” conference in Las Vegas on June 28. (IANS)

ALSO READ:

Next Story

Exposure to Anaesthetics For Kids May Lead To Alcohol Disorder In Adolescents: Research

Early exposure to anesthetics in life may make adolescents more susceptible to developing an alcohol use disorder

0
Alcohol
exposure to anesthetics during adolescence could affect a person's response to alcohol in adulthood. Pixabay

Early exposure to anaesthetics in life may make adolescents more susceptible to developing alcohol use disorder (AUD), warn researchers. Anaesthetics are commonly used drugs in the healthcare field and are often administered to children to induce unconsciousness and immobility during surgeries.

For the findings, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, the research team examined whether exposure to anesthetics during adolescence could affect a person’s response to alcohol in adulthood, especially the development of AUD.

Researchers discovered that anaesthetic exposure during adolescence may be an environmental risk factor that leads to an increased susceptibility to developing AUD later in life. Although not all adolescents who drink alcohol develop AUDs, the research team said it’s important to identify risk factors that contribute to an increased susceptibility to alcohol abuse

“This is highly concerning. Given that although the age of initiation and subsequent binging during adolescence are linked to alcoholism later in life, apart from stress, it was not clear what other environmental factors may play a role,” said study author David Werner from Binghamton University, New York in the US. During the study, researchers exposed early-adolescent male rats to isoflurane, a general anaesthetic, in short durations and tested them on various alcohol-induced behaviours later in adolescence or adulthood.

Alcohol usage
Anaesthetic exposure during adolescence may be an environmental risk factor that leads to an increased susceptibility to developing AUD later in life. Pixabay

The team found that exposure to anaesthetics in adolescence had extremely similar behavioural and neural effects as adolescent chronic alcohol exposure. In the study, the adolescent rats exposed to isoflurane had a decreased sensitivity to the negative effects of alcohol, such as its aversive, sedative and socially suppressive effects. These rats also showed an increase in voluntary alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment, and certain behaviours continued into adulthood after their initial anaesthetic exposure.

Also Read: Economic Revival Damaged by COVID, May take 6 Months In India: Experts

These results further suggest that exposure to anaesthetics during adolescence, while in some cases is necessary, may have unintended consequences that incubate over time. “Apart from infancy to early childhood, adolescence can be considered the most critical developmental stage following birth,” Werner said. (IANS)

Next Story

Drinking Coffee may Keep Digestive Disorders at Bay: Study

Drinking coffee may help reduce the risk of certain digestive disorders, new study suggestes

0
coffee
Recent studies suggest that populations of the beneficial gut bacteria Bifidobacterium spp, increase after drinking coffee. Pixabay

Drinking coffee may help reduce the risk of certain digestive disorders, including gallstone disease and pancreatitis, a new study has suggested.

The study from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) also highlighted other beneficial effects that coffee consumption may have on the process of digestion, including supporting gut microflora and promoting gut motility. “Data indicates benefits against common digestive complaints such as constipation, as well as a potential reduction in the risk of more serious conditions like chronic liver diseases,” said study author Carlo La Vecchia from the University of Milan in Italy.

Gallstone disease is a common digestive disorder, caused by the accumulation of gallstones in the gallbladder or bile duct, which affects approximately 10-15 per cent of the adult population. While the mechanism by which coffee may protect against gallstone disease is not yet known, it has been observed that the risk for the condition declines with increasing daily consumption of coffee, the researchers said. Caffeine is thought to play a role in these associations, as the same effect is not observed with decaffeinated coffee.

coffee
Drinking coffee may help reduce the risk of certain digestive disorders. Pixabay

A common question among consumers and focus area for research is whether coffee is associated with heartburn or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). While a small number of studies have suggested an association between coffee drinking and GORD, the majority of studies reviewed suggest that coffee is not a major trigger of these conditions.

The report also reviewed a growing area of health and nutrition research, namely: the effect of coffee on the gut microflora (microorganism populations). Recent studies suggest that populations of the beneficial gut bacteria Bifidobacterium spp, increase after drinking coffee. The findings showed the dietary fibre and polyphenols found in coffee, support the healthy growth of microflora populations.

Also Read: WHO Accuses Tobacco Industry of Luring Children Into Usage of Tobacco By Marketing Practices

Additional research findings highlighted that coffee consumption is thought to stimulate digestion by encouraging the release of gastric acid, bile and pancreatic secretions. Coffee is one of the most widely researched components of the diet, and its effect on digestion remains a growing area of research, the researchers noted. (IANS)

Next Story

COVID-19 Poses Serious Complications, Even Death Risk for Children: Research

Children at a higher risk from COVID-19

0
Children
Children at high risk of complications from Covid-19. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that children, teenagers and young adults are at greater risk for severe complications from COVID-19 and those with underlying health conditions are at even greater risk of death.

“This study provides a baseline understanding of the early disease burden of COVID-19 in pediatric patients,” said study researcher Hariprem Rajasekhar from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Pediatrics in the US. “The findings confirm that this emerging disease was already widespread in March and that it is not universally benign among children,” Rajasekhar added.

Published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, the study followed 48 children and young adults – from newborns to 21 years old — who were admitted to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) in the US and Canada for COVID-19 in March and April.

More than 80 per cent had chronic underlying conditions, such as immune suppression, obesity, diabetes, seizures or chronic lung disease. Of those, 40 per cent depended on technological support due to developmental delays or genetic anomalies. More than 20 per cent experienced failure of two or more organ systems due to COVID-19, and nearly 40 per cent required a breathing tube and ventilator.

At the end of the follow-up period, nearly 33 percent of the children were still hospitalised due to COVID-19, with three still requiring ventilator support and one on life support. Two of the children admitted during the three-week study period died.

 

Children
Children, teenagers and young adults at very high risk of COVID-19, say researchers. Pixabay

The researchers said they were “cautiously encouraged” by hospital outcomes for the children studied, citing the 4.2 per cent mortality rate for PICU patients compared with published mortality rates of up to 62 per cent among adults admitted to ICUs, as well as lower incidences of respiratory failure.

The study noted that doctors in the New York metropolitan area are seeing what appears to be a new COVID-related syndrome in children. “The idea that COVID-19 is sparing of young people is just false,” said study co-author Lawrence C Kleinman from Rutgers University in the US.

“While children are more likely to get very sick if they have other chronic conditions, including obesity, it is important to note that children without chronic illness are also at risk. Parents need to continue to take the virus seriously,” Kleinman added.

Recently, another study, published in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics, also revealed that gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, coupled with a fever or history of exposure to COVID-19, could indicate coronavirus infection in children.

Also Read: Do yoga to stay fit: Sandeep Singh

The US currently accounts for the world’s highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths at 1,347,388 and 80,397, respectively, according to the Johns Hopkins University. (IANS)