Two pieces of good news. You now have a good excuse for both staring point-blank into a stranger’s eye hole and strapping a concoction of electronics and LED’s to your face. Eye-tracking. Eye-Tracking tech for design isn’t even close to being recent news, but it bears mentioning to show you where eye-tracking tech in regard to CAD was three years ago and where it’s heading today.

Eye tracking for Design

In late 2009, The Open University and the University of Leeds showed off their Design with Vision project. It was (still is) incredibly interesting. Not only were they looking at how the eye interacts with the 2-dimensional sketches, but how it could be used to potentially adapt the design you are working on.

So, that was a few years ago. This next one, from the Cloud Lab, at the Columbia University, is closer to where the technology is today in regard to 3d space and tracking 3-dimensional movements of the iris. But still, the tech isn’t all that new. They’re using the circa 2009 EyeWriter DIY LED eye tracking system and Processing to visualize heat mapping of 3D geometry and task motivation of the eyes.

Now, even this doesn’t get close to what other labs and people are researching. Mix the two above and you have something closer to what we could see within the next year as first a way to move data around and then as a way to actually manipulate tools and geometry. Ready?


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.