Head steering vs eye steering
People participating in a dynamic conversation, where speakers are taking turns and the sound of interest changes its origin, tend to change their behaviour to accommodate for the different speakers. This can be achieved by turning the head towards the speaker in turn, which we understand as ‘Head steering’.
This, in principle, is a form of steering hearing devices with frontal focus directionality. Another behavioural trait of conversation dynamics is the movement of the eyes towards the speaker in turn. With a directionality beam that is free to follow the fixation of the eyes as they travel from speaker to speaker we create another method of steering hearing devices, ‘eye steering’.
A study conducted at Eriksholm Research Centre highlighted the fact that users tend to react faster to conversational switches with the eye movements than with head movements. Additionally, the movement of the head does not accurately reflect where the location of the speaker is, while the eyes are more closely fixated to the target speaker. Read more about this study here.