Cychron @ CES: Tobii Eye Tracking Technology

Eye tracking is certainly a thing of the future, but a company named Tobii is aspiring to bring it to the mainstream as early as this summer. Using the EyeX development kit (retailing at $95 for a limited time), game and application developers can create experiences for the desktop PC that takes advantage of Tobbi’s eye tracking technology. Tobii has partnered with SteelSeries, the makers of high-performance gaming peripherals and accessories, to bring a yet-to-be announced product to consumers this summer that will take advantage of their unique technology.

Oscar Werner

Oscar Werner, the president of Tobii Assistive Technology, demonstrates the EyeX Engine.

The Tobii EyeX Engine (the software powering the EyeX Kit) is defined as a “unique and powerful” middleware that provides a set of predefined user interactions which combine eye gaze with other modalities such as the keyboard and touchpad. The Tobii EyeX Engine also takes care of the framework around the application, including functions such as calibrations and screen configurations. This makes it possible for developers to rapidly add eye tracking capabilities to their application, while also ensuring that users get a consistent and intuitive user experience by making the most common actions, such as clicking, scrolling, zooming and switching all become more intuitive, natural and fun.

Samsung uses a seemingly similar feature in some of their most recent smart phones to scroll text on a page, however, these devices rely on facial recognition and tilt to achieve the “eye tracking” effect. Oscar Werner, the president of Tobii Assistive Technology, said that the Samsung technology paled in comparison to what Tobii offers, and feels their solution will propel us into the future of desktop computing.

Oscar Werner & Erik Lucas

Oscar Werner and Cychron editor Erik Lucas take a look at the Tobii EyeX dev kit’s integration with Windows 8.

Whether or not eye-tracking is the definitive answer to what’s next in motion tracking technology, the demo was certainly impressive. We had a chance to spend some time with the Tobii EyeX at their CES booth, and you can watch the entire video below. More info on Tobii and where to order the EyeX development kit can be found at Tobii.com.

All photographs by Maria Hedrick Photography for Cychron.com

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