Posted in entrepreneurial, personal, tech, Vancouver

eyePong: controlling Pong with your eyes

Update: It seems this somehow got on TechVibes & HackerNews

So for Vancouver’s Barcamp 2010, we made a pong game for the iPad that people could control using their eyes.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a Vancouver Barcamp summary. However, my good friend Mack Flavelle wrote a great summary and another guy named Shivanand, whom I wish i had met, did another awesome job.

What this is, is a post explaining the project I hacked together during Vancouver Barcmp 2010 with Craig & Tom: eyePong

I hate when people make me read to the end, so here’s a video of the project:

What is pong?

For those who don’t know what pong is, it was an old arcade game where a ball goes back and forth between two human controller paddles. You can google it or read the wikipedia article for more info. But a picture should pretty much explain it:

The eye gazer equipment is from Craig Hennessey, founder of mirametrix, and I worked with developer & overall hilarious person Tom Schultz (@appskicker).

eyePong

By the time I joined them on Saturday, Tom had already gotten the backend “secret sauce” working, which passed the x & y coordinates of the eyes to the iPad over a TCP socket connection. We pair programmed (read: I watched him type slowly on this weird wireless keyboard while we both laughed a lot) the initial pong paddle & the ball. I then took over, fixed the paddle’s position, recorded persistent high score (so you could play against others), added sound to the ball hitting the paddle, & made the direction & velocity of the paddle change the way the pong moves.

The green “box” is the pong ball, and the white square is the calculated eye Gaze. It’s pretty cool how people tend to watch the ball as it moves around.

Videos

Here’s the same video as above: some random guy playing it near the end of barcamp & me narrating (I hate silent videos).

Here’s a movie of Craig playing the game & me hiding laughter, while someone gives a completely unrelated barcamp talk. Ironically, it’s more of a silent video, which I usually hate.

The Code

Obviously the codes pretty messy since we pushed this out in, literally, a few hours. I’ll be cleaning it up a bit & maybe githubing it if there’s enough interest (read: ping me if you’re interested). Craig’s plan is to make an API out of it.

Author:

Jon Chui (pronounced "chew") has been building iOS/Android apps for the last 7 years, the last 3 working on Google Maps, Inbox by Gmail and Google's Search App. Though he grew up in a Christian family and to parents who would end up giving up their 25 years of hard-earned comforts/affluence in Canada to go back to China as missionaries when he was 14, being a Christian was always in his head, and he would constantly struggle with trying to unify the sacred and the secular - until last year. However, through a radical transformation[https://jonchui.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/a-copy-of-my-last-email-before-leaving-google/] @ work last year (which he can't take ANY credit for), he & his wife & 2 young boys have decided to leave Google, sell/donate everything they have so to serve the poor & marginalized with Jesus’ love as missionaries with YWAM.org's Family DTS in Kona, hawaii then to the Philippines. Read more about their family journey @ vickiandjon.com, and reach out to him @ jon@jonchui.com If you're a recruiter with freelance jobs or have tech projects for jon feel free to reach out to him jobs@jonchui.com -

8 thoughts on “eyePong: controlling Pong with your eyes

  1. I was around, and talked to Craig and Tom. You were busy trying to calibrate it and I didn’t want to bother you then. Great job at getting the app refined by the end of the day. I’ve been looking for the video over the weekend.

    Another application of this tech (as I was talking to Craig about), is to use this + a clicker of sorts to allow setting boolean states on large sets of data (say selecting 10 pictures from 100 etc). I would be very interested in the github repo when it’s ready.

    Let me know if I can be of any help.

  2. Just a dumb question…

    1. looks like you are shooting IR light directly at the iris…
    2. this doesn’t register in our vision, but IR light in a lazer, for example, can blind.

    Is this possibly damaging for the eyes to be directly targeted by ir light either in the short term, or over a long period of time?

    1. Great question – apparently it’s far enough that it’s not too bad. And you obviously shouldn’t spend long periods doing it.

      Also, a laser is simply very focused light -these led diodes are not very focused and disperse the photons much like the LEDs you find in circuits & stuff.

      Hope that answers your question!

  3. Pingback: StartupDigest

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s