Last week, we got the chance to try out a brand new game at Dave & Buster’s in Times Square, NYC. Aptly named Eye Asteroids, it’s the first arcade game that has no buttons at all (well, except for a big one to start). Instead of using a joystick and mashing buttons, you use your eyes to look at what you want to destroy and tilt your head to move around. The game is just the latest example of many emerging uses of eye tracking technology, which we explained in “Death of the mouse: How eye-tracking technology could save the PC.” Like the unique eye-tracking Lenovo laptop we viewed, the Eye Asteroids arcade game was also designed by Tobii technology using its eye tracking technology.
This video shows a Tobii employee giving Eye Asteroids a go. Your goal is to defend Earth from incoming asteroids. Every time you look at an asteroid, a laser comes out of Earth and begins to destroy it. So you’re goal is to keep your gaze on the incoming asteroids. You can also move Earth around by tilting your head back and forth, which becomes a necessity when flames start coming in from the side (it makes no sense, but maybe you got too close to a couple suns? Keeping your focus is vital to success as more and more asteroids begin to crowd our tiny planet. Every time you look at a power up or a health item, it slows it down, meaning if you aren’t looking a the bad asteroids, you are hurting your cause.
We found the game to be simple, but a fun demonstration of what’s possible with technology these days. The technology works on almost anyone, though those who have bifocals or really strong prescription glasses do experience some trouble. We didn’t have any issue during play, but entering our initials by looking at letters was a bit more difficult than it could have been. The technology isn’t 100 percent yet, but Tobii is on to something here. We can’t wait to see what they cook up next.
If you want to play Eye Asteroids, you’ll have to check out the Dave & Busters in Times Square or request that your local arcade buy a unit. For about $15,000 anyone can own the game cabinet. Learn more about Tobii and the game here.