Tobii has been working to push eye control into the consumer space for several years now, but the fruits of its efforts may be coming sooner than we think. Today, the company has announced that it will release an eye control “Gaze” interface for Windows 8, allowing users with the proper equipment to use their eyes to select items and perform actions on their tablet or computer screen.
“Pointing at something by looking at it is intuitive, natural and immediate. Using a mouse to do the same thing is less so, as it involves an intermediate step of moving a mouse-pointer around,” says Henrik Eskilsson, CEO and co-founder, Tobii Technology. “Gaze is as natural and intuitive as touch, as precise as the mouse and more ergonomic and effortless than both. Once you have experienced Gaze, a laptop without it feels just as ancient as a laptop without a touch pad.”
The Gaze interface, which we’ll check out at CES next week, will translate Windows 8′s built-in touch gestures–like slide to drag, tap, pinch to zoom, and swiping–into eye control actions, which are performed in coordination with a touchpad. The only downside is that you have to have a special infrared eye sensor attached to your laptop or tablet to do it. Tobii is hoping to work with manufacturers to build the technology right into future devices. Last year, we got the chance to check out the company’s prototype eye-controlled laptop built in coordination with Lenovo and more recently Tobii launched an eye-controlled arcade game in New York.
We’ll give a complete hands-on of the new technology when we meet up with Tobii on the show floor next week. Windows 8 is currently scheduled to launch later this year, possibly around September.
The video below gives a brief demonstration of Tobii’s concept.