Nvidia has recently unveiled a beta version of Eye Contact, an AI-powered software video feature that automatically maintains eye contact by calculating and aligning gaze while you are on-camera. It ships with Broadcast app version 1.4, and the business is seeking feedback on how to enhance it. In other regards, the technology may be too advanced because it never breaks eye contact, which can appear strange and scary.
Eye Contact achieves this impact by replacing your eyes in the video stream with software-controlled artificial eyeballs that always stare directly into the camera, even when you are actually looking away. The artificial eyes strive to mimic your natural eye colour, and they even blink in time with your own.
On social media, the initial reaction to Nvidia’s new function has been generally negative. The D-Pad tweeted, “I’ve always wanted streamers to maintain a horrifying degree of uninterrupted eye contact while reading text that is obviously not showing in their webcams.”
Scott Baker, a veteran TV news anchor, also provided his review of Nvidia Eye Contact “As a decades-long television news anchor, this is not nearly the correct approach. In order to communicate effectively, you must frequently break eye contact with the camera, just like you would in real life. The significance of eye contact in human communication has been extensively studied. More than 7 to 10 seconds of eye contact is naturally perceived as weird or uncomfortable. True across a dining table, before a gathering, or in front of a camera.”
It is not the first time a corporation has utilised synthetic eyeballs to maintain eye contact during video chats or video streams. Apple launched the “Eye Contact” feature in FaceTime in 2019, which kept your eyes glued to the camera. Similar to Nvidia’s implementation of the technology, it was first met with a poor reception.