As the complexity of cockpit instrumentation reaches new heights, stakeholders in the aerospace and defence sectors are turning to new technologies to improve the overall effectiveness of in-flight procedures. Defence & Security Systems International talks to Martin Krantz, CEO of Smart Eye, about how the company's eye-tracking software is allowing its clients in both industries to amass the fine data to do just that.
Why should your customers opt to acquire Smart Eye's eye-tracking software over and above the services provided by your competitors in the marketplace?
Martin Krantz: The applications for eye tracking within the aerospace and defence industry, such as flight decks, simulators or control rooms, are intricate. As such, the specifications for any eye-tracking solution have to match that high degree of complexity.
Smart Eye's experience in the field makes us well suited to the task at hand. We are able to provide eye-tracking solutions in these complex environments that retain impressive levels of gaze accuracy, field of view and robustness. Furthermore, we can provide analysis software that collects and saves all relevant data from a variety of sources, such as eye-tracking, scene-camera, screen-grab, physiological and simulator data.
In what ways is the Smart Eye Pro uniquely suited for deployment in the aerospace sector?
Flight decks or simulators are normally equipped with a great many instruments leaving little space for additional equipment. A free and flexible installation horizontally and vertically of the eye-tracking equipment is therefore very important. The ability to perform robust eye tracking in environments with vibrations, bumps, varying temperature and light, and exaggerated head movement in combination with a wide visual field makes the Smart Eye Pro system the preferred eye-tracking solution in this application.
How adaptable is the system?
Smart Eye Pro is able to use up to eight cameras simultaneously, enabling deployment in a range of projects or applications. Moreover, insofar that it is a remote eye-tracking system, the subject never needs to wear any additional helmet equipment. This allows non-intrusive studies that are more realistic. Analysis tools we provide in combination with our eye-tracking solutions also allow studies encompassing multiple subjects simultaneously.
What priority does Smart Eye place on in-house research and development?
At Smart Eye, we make sustaining our in-house R&D programme a high priority. Since we started in 1999, all of our eye-tracking software solutions have been conceived in house. We also possess the expertise to develop our own hardware in house, and have used this for the development for hardware platforms such as Aurora and Blackbird, among others. Although the analysis tool was provided by an exclusive partner, we work 'hand in glove' with them to improve the eye-tracking and analysis software.
What plans does the company have for the future?
Fundamentally, our goal is to expand our position in the aerospace sector. Therefore, we are working hard on developing and improving our hardware and software to continuously match the constantly evolving requirements of the sector.