Head Tracking

What Does Head Tracking Mean?

Head tracking enables an application to recognize and identify a user’s head movements. Head tracking is often found in conjunction with eye or face tracking, where it uses the facial features like the nose, mouth and eyes to track the user. Head tracking can be achieved using a typical basic camera or face-tracking software. It supports and enhances human-computer interaction.


Head tracking is used in various applications like games, home automation and security. The data is digitized and sent to the application to perform necessary tasks as per head movements.

Techopedia Explains Head Tracking

In head tracking technology, the user’s face and head movements are tracked by capturing raw data via cameras, or it may require special equipment to be worn on the head to capture the movements. The facial features are recognized separately. It is possible to track the head movements from a particular distance with the use of webcams in laptops. Certain actions can be performed via applications with corresponding head movements. Direct movement and behaviors of characters within applications through face controls are also possible. Head tracking can be used in conjunction with augmented reality.

The concept of head tracking is commonly used in games where the player’s head movements are tracked and changes are carried out in game controls as per the head movements. Head tracking is now most popularly seen in integration with smartphones to support various games and user authentication. It serves as another layer of security to traditional username and password authentication. A user can customize certain movement as to ensure their identity. Head tracking is also used in automated photo capture based on poses and face features.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.