Wearable gaze detector in the form of headphones

Via, this "Full-time wearable headphone gaze detector" by DoCoMo seems to be curious (ACM subscription required). A paper by Hiroyuki Manabe and Masaaki Fukumoto submitted at CHI2006. It actually describes a full-time wearable gaze detector that does not obscure the user’s view in the form of a headphone.

Full-time wearable devices are daily commodities, in which we wear wrist watches and bear audio players and cellular phones for example. The wearable interface suits these devices due to its features; the user can access the interface immediately, anywhere desired. For full-time wearable devices, the interface should be easy to wear, easy to use and not obstruct daily life. In this article, the “full-time wearable interface” is defined as an interface that the user can wear continuously without obstructing daily life and can use easily and immediately whenever desired.

What is interesting to me is the potential applications:

This system can be used as a simple controller for many daily use devices or applications, such as audio players. It can also be used as a selector that allows the user to choose surrounding objects. When the gaze detector is supplemented with a video camera and a wireless communication device and the surrounding objects have identifying tags like QR codes, the user can get information about the object of interest simply by gazing it.

Why do I blog this? I was just intrigued by this sort of interface, especially from the cognitive standpoint: how would this impact our practices and how can people cope with the cognitive load it would generate.