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Is there any software for Mac which watches out head and focus a window that is in a specified monitor based on our head angle? I'm using 3 monitors at the same time and hitting cmd + tab is always the pain.

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You may be able to craft your own solution with a combination of scripting software and assistive hardware.

Assistive hardware exists to track head movement. Most assistive hardware can be used to provide an input that can then be scripted via AppleScript or shell script.

A few examples are linked below. I have no experience with these tools but your goal appears possible.

Headmouse

HeadMouse® Extreme replaces the standard computer mouse for people who cannot use or have limited use of their hands when controlling a computer or alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) device. The HeadMouse translates natural movements of a user's head into directly proportional movements of the computer mouse pointer, so as the user moves their head the mouse pointer on the screen also moves.

Headmouse

SmartNav

The SmartNav 4 AT is a total hands-free mouse solution. With built-in Dwell Clicking Software and a free On-screen Keyboard created by Lake Software. The AT package is used successfully by people with ALS, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, and other special needs.

SmartNav

One Switch

One Switch sell a wide range of assistive hardware and link to associated software.

The following list details a number of different styles of head, mouth and eye operated controllers. Most of these are for PCs and Apple computers, but there are alternatives for games consoles too. Some of these devices are very expensive, so it is always worth trying to track down some way of trying before you buy.

  • Excellent resources. I wonder if the integrated hardware will ever be as good (or viable) as external hardware that's custom designed for the task. The benefit of using a second tracking device is you get to keep the FaceTime camera for communication and video if you don't dedicate it to tracking the head/eyes. – bmike Jun 24 '14 at 17:38
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I haven't heard of any such software before, though it certainly may exist.

However, there are a few problems:

  1. It would go crazy every time you turn around or look away from your current monitor: it's probably something you do much more often than you'd realize without the camera tracking your head and doing stuff based on its position.
  2. Most head-tracking software isn't sensitive enough to determine where your eyes are; that is, you'd have to turn your head completely toward the display for it to switch to that display, which would get annoying after a while because you'd have to exaggerate the head motion each time.

Essentially, if you wanted it to be accurate enough to determine what you're actually focusing on, you'd have to go into eye tracking, which can be messy and not altogether accurate with a built-in camera that wasn't necessarily meant for that sort of thing.

In any case, what you're looking for probably isn't possible with the iSight camera and would require some extra hardware (Graham Miln has given you some options).

That said, you may want to look at the Leap Motion Controller, which has a fairly robust set of applications that probably has something like this (so, you'd gesture toward the display you want and it would switch), but it's probably not faster than CMD+Tab (though you wouldn't have to cycle through all of your running applications).

If that doesn't work (or you don't want to buy an $80 motion tracking device), there's always Better Touch Tool, which you could use to set up a few shortcuts (or trackpad/mouse actions) to switch displays for you.

  • 1
    Just because most people have better ways to control screens doesn't make this a bad thing to ask. Think if you had tetraplegia or another neuromuscular disease and something like this might be an amazing assistive enhancement to using a computer. Do Leap Motion or BTT track heads or help with that use case? – bmike Jun 24 '14 at 17:07
  • @bmike I wasn't saying that it wasn't a bad thing to ask; I was just saying that I haven't found or seen anything like it and gave possible reasons why. Neither track heads but they both are possible solutions to the same problem implemented in a slightly more reliable way. – AstroCB Jun 24 '14 at 17:08
  • I should have been more precise - saying it doesn't exist is a little sloppy. Why not say, any implementation would be challenging since head tracking would be needed for monitor selection and pupil tracking would likely be needed to distinguish between windows on a screen. Numerous pupil tracking rigs exist to do web usability studies - the question here is the iSight camera and Mac OS amenable to this. – bmike Jun 24 '14 at 17:12
  • @bmike Ah, I see what you mean: I'll fix that. – AstroCB Jun 24 '14 at 17:13
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    I give you a +1 even without any fixes for attempting to offer solutions and explain the problem domain / perhaps refine the ask by the OP. – bmike Jun 24 '14 at 17:14

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