Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 280–290

Why are eye mice unpopular? A detailed comparison of head and eye controlled assistive technology pointing devices

Special issue on countering design exclusion

DOI: 10.1007/s10209-003-0053-y

Cite this article as:
Bates, R. & Istance, H. UAIS (2003) 2: 280. doi:10.1007/s10209-003-0053-y


This paper examines and compares the usability problems associated with eye-based and head-based assistive technology pointing devices when used for direct manipulation on a standard graphical user interface. It discusses and examines the pros and cons of eye-based pointing in comparison to the established assistive technology technique of head-based pointing and illustrates the usability factors responsible for the apparent low usage or ‘unpopularity’ of eye-based pointing. It shows that user experience and target size on the interface are the predominant factors affecting eye-based pointing and suggests that these could be overcome to enable eye-based pointing to be a viable and available direct manipulation interaction technique for the motor-disabled community.


Eye tracking Eye mouse Head mouse Assistive technology Computer input devices 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction Research GroupDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK