EyeSpyVR: Interactive Eye Sensing Using Off-the-Shelf Smartphone based VR headsets

Low cost virtual reality headsets powered by smartphones are becoming ubiquitous. Their unique position on the user's face opens interesting opportunities for interactive sensing. We describe EyeSpyVR, a software-only eye sensing approach for smartphone-based VR, which uses a phone's front facing camera as a sensor and its display as a passive illuminator. Our proof-of-concept system, using a commodity smartphone, enables four sensing modalities: detecting when the VR headset is worn, detecting blinks, recognizing the wearer's identity, and coarse gaze tracking - features typically found in high-end or specialty VR headsets. We describe our implementation and results from a 70 participant user study.


Ahuja, K., Islam, R., Parashar, V., Dey, K., Harrison, C. and Goel, M. 2018. EyeSpyVR: Interactive Eye Sensing Using Off-the-Shelf, Smartphone-Based VR Headsets. In Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies. UBICOMP ’18. 2, 2, Article 57 (July 2018). ACM, New York, NY. 10 pages.