As Go the Feet … : On the Estimation of Attentional Focus from Stance.

Research paper by Francis F Quek, Roger R Ehrich, Thurmon T Lockhart

Indexed on: 01 Jan '08Published on: 01 Jan '08Published in: ACM transactions on computer-human interaction : a publication of the Association for Computing Machinery


The estimation of the direction of visual attention is critical to a large number of interactive systems. This paper investigates the cross-modal relation of the position of one's feet (or standing stance) to the focus of gaze. The intuition is that while one CAN have a range of attentional foci from a particular stance, one may be MORE LIKELY to look in specific directions given an approach vector and stance. We posit that the cross-modal relationship is constrained by biomechanics and personal style. We define a stance vector that models the approach direction before stopping and the pose of a subject's feet. We present a study where the subjects' feet and approach vector are tracked. The subjects read aloud contents of note cards in 4 locations. The order of `visits' to the cards were randomized. Ten subjects read 40 lines of text each, yielding 400 stance vectors and gaze directions. We divided our data into 4 sets of 300 training and 100 test vectors and trained a neural net to estimate the gaze direction given the stance vector. Our results show that 31% our gaze orientation estimates were within 5°, 51% of our estimates were within 10°, and 60% were within 15°. Given the ability to track foot position, the procedure is minimally invasive.