Windows 8 Meets Eye-Tracking At CES 2012 - InformationWeek
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
02:03 PM
Connect Directly

Windows 8 Meets Eye-Tracking At CES 2012

Tobii eye-tracking technology lets you control certain PC or tablet tasks with your eyes, not your hands.

CES 2012: Elegant Gadgets Abound
CES 2012: Elegant Gadgets Abound
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
At CES 2012, Fujitsu introduced an Android tablet that accepts hand gestures. Voice input has also gone mainstream. And now Tobii is attempting to bring eye-tracking into the fold, demonstrating its technology on laptops and arcade games.

Tobii makes a device with infrared lights and sensors. The lights illuminate the user's eyes, creating a reflection on the surface and on the back of the retina, and then the sensors take rapid images of the eyes to build a 3-D model of them. Company representatives said that this process can get the eye tracking within one millimeter of precision--that is, it can pretty much track the user's eyes exactly.

It's not easy to pick up all of the nuances from the demonstration in the video embedded below, but the idea is that with a combination of a laptop's touchpad and your eyes, you can point and select items in Windows 8 (when it's available), and even expand or zoom in on items--say an image on the Web.

[ Find out what to expect at CES. Read CES 2012 Preview: 16 Hot Gadgets. ]

The technology also works with other versions of Windows; one of our BYTE reviewers took Tobii's PCEye tracking technology for a spin recently, and found it relatively easy to set up and use. In fact, our reviewer combined PCEye with speech recognition technology and used his laptop hands free.

There are a variety of ways to interact with applications, including the use of a sustained blink to create a selection action, for example.

The target market is primarily users who are disabled, although company representatives talked about the use case for surgeons, who may want to click and zoom while their hands are otherwise occupied. Tobii GM Barbara Barclay said that eye tracking has been used for research on things like autism and attention deficit disorder.

The Tobii system runs several thousand dollars, but the company is hoping for a bit more mass appeal, and eventually sees its technology being built into standard laptops, cars, and medical devices.

Ready to catch the Metro? Windows 8 is a major shift, with features borrowed from desktop gadgets and mobile devices, and it brings a slew of new paradigms for developers. Our report, IT Pro Impact: Windows Developer Road Map, shows you what you need to know. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Code Commando
Code Commando,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/21/2012 | 8:25:29 PM
re: Windows 8 Meets Eye-Tracking At CES 2012
I have to be honest. Thisn++ "clicking" while you're looking at something as a replacement for clicking normally is bad. You are breaking the connection between the virtual world and reality by using your outside sense of sight to control the inner action of touch. When the mouse is moved toward the location you are looking, it should get closer to that point. This would eliminate the need for hand eye coordination. This would fix the disconnect, and I'd LOVE Windows 8! It would be like having your finger on the page pointing to every word.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll