PredictGaze can automatically pause the movie you are watching when you run to the restroom, or suggest shows similar to the one you were smiling at. It's a combination of gesture and facial recognition that works so naturally, it's almost creepy.
PredictGaze works with any device with a camera: laptops, smart TVs, tablets, and phones. The software is set up for traditional gestures -- like putting your finger up in a shushing motion to mute the laptop. But it also detects what founder and CTO Abhilekh Agarwal calls "natural behavior."
Let's say you're watching a movie on your laptop, but you jump up to microwave a bag of popcorn. PredictGaze can tell when you've left the room and pause the flick instantaneously, the company says. When you return, the movie plays where it left off.
PredictGaze can also tell if you're enjoying the sitcom you're watching. If the software detects that you're smiling often, it can recommend other shows you might enjoy.
"Our aim is [for] the device to understand human behavior," Agarwal says. "You shouldn't have to wave your hands around doing gestures for everything."
The idea of a device knowing when you're smiling may seem a little Big Brotherish, but Agarwal says PredictGaze stores only data points, and not actual images of your toothy grin.
Agarwal says PredictGaze is in advanced talks with many manufacturers, and it's secured a partnership with "a Japanese company." But he's keeping mum on the details for now.
IBM forecasts that in five years, computers will gain the five senses and experience the world as humans do.