Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 55–65 | Cite as

Real-time eye blink and wink detection for object selection in HCI systems

Original Paper


This paper presents an approach for real-time detection of three types of eye blinks: eye blink (blinking both eyes simultaneously), left and right winks. The process of blink detection has been divided into four parts viz. face localization in facial images acquired through a video camera, eye pair localization, pixels’ motion analysis using optical flow technique, and classification of eye blinks. Blink detection has been performed using a video camera and MATLAB software with image processing and computer vision toolbox. The algorithm takes about 60 ms time for processing a frame and 250 ms time for confirmation and classification of the detected blink. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach in which 10 users voluntarily participated. The performance of the proposed method has been tested under two lighting conditions: natural lighting conditions and controlled lighting conditions. Also, the performance has been tested by varying the distance of the user from the camera. Here, it is observed that the system gives best performance when used under controlled lighting conditions and the user sitting at a distance of about 0.5 m. Accuracy of the proposed approach has been found to be 96, 92 and 88% for detection of eye blink, left wink and right wink, respectively. The proposed method has also been tested on ZJU dataset where it has given precision, detection accuracy and false alarm rate of values 94.11, 91.2 and 1.54%, respectively. The proposed system has been used and evaluated for performing various mouse analogous functions using eye blinks and winks. It has given an accuracy of 90, 80 and 90% in performing left click, double click, and right click operations, respectively.


Real-time eye blink detection Target selection Analogous mouse operations HCI systems 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We have no conflict of interest to declare.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.I.K. Gujral Punjab Technical UniversityJalandharIndia
  2. 2.Department of Electronics and Communication EngineeringBeant College of Engineering and TechnologyGurdaspurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Electronics and Communication EngineeringDAV Institute of Engineering and TechnologyJalandharIndia

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