As touch screen technology becomes more and more practical, another alternative to the (traditional?) computer mouse has come into the limelight: eye tracking technology.

Now, eye tracking technology has been used by advertisers in one form or another for years in order to gauge which areas of an advertisement, or a computer screen, a potential customer is most likely to look at. These studies then allow them to create ads that will be more likely to be seen then their competitors. These tests can also be used to determine which items are viewed for the longest, letting advertisers know what tactics are most likely to result in viewer interest.

The technology behind these tests is now being tweaked by companies, such as Lenovo, and research facilities like Stanford University, for more versatile and practical purposes. The prototypes can use current technology, such as web cams, to track the movement of the user’s pupils.

While it is doubtful that this technology would ever be able to replace a keyboard (can you imagine typing by looking at one letter after another on a screen?) it could easily take the place of a mouse, especially if combined with touch screen technology. Perhaps in ten or twenty years, we will look back on the age of single cursor mice and laugh at them in the same way that people today laugh at dial up modems.