Tobii set to sell PC eye-control add-on to developers
Initial sales begin next week; more widespread distribution in second half of 2013
IDG News Service - Tobii Technology will soon start shipping a device that allows users to control a PC using their eyes. Developers will be able to buy the REX next week, and Tobii will make it more widely available in the second half of the year, the company said Wednesday
Tobii calls the REX a gaze interaction peripheral: it attaches to a PC's display. The Swedish company said it is the first such device for the consumer market.
"This is a natural step for us. We have been working on products for niche markets for many years, but the ultimate goal has always been to develop our technology so it can be added to any computer, and a peripheral is the easiest way to do that," Sara HylA(c)en, marketing director at Tobii, said.
At CES, Tobii will demonstrate some of the core features of its technology, including the ability to select, scroll, zoom and navigate using eye movements.
"What the eye is superior at is pointing, because that is something we do naturally. You look for what you want to click on or zoom in on, and then you have to move the mouse or if you are using a touchscreen your hand. That middle step you can skip when using eye-tracking," HylA(c)en said.
To keep track of what the user is looking at, Tobii uses two specially built optical sensors.
Developers will be the first to get their hands on the REX: A special developer edition of the peripheral will go on sale next week, according to HylA(c)en.
"We want to build a larger community of developers that can create applications with eye control integrated. So we then can offer consumers a richer product during the second half of the year," she said.
The Tobii REX Developer Edition costs $995, and in addition to the peripheral, the package also includes a software development kit (SDK) and other support materials needed to help developers get started in an area most aren't familiar with.
Users of the package have to think carefully about how they implement Tobii's technology, because there are some pitfalls, according to HylA(c)en.
Often developers think they need to implement eye-control for everything. But for people that have the ability to use their eyes along with traditional controls a combination often ends up being the most effective interface.
At first, the company will manufacture a limited run of 5,000 Tobii REX units for consumers. Users that want to get access to the product before everyone else can sign up on Tobii's website.
"We feel its a good idea to start small, and prove the technology works and that there is a viable market for it," HylA(c)en said.
For now, the consumer unit only works with Windows 8. She wouldn't say what it will cost.
Tobii expects its technology will be integrated in laptops and displays in 2014 or 2015, with tablets to follow.
Tobii attended CES for the first time last year, and is returning to the show in Las Vegas next week. Like many smaller vendors that take part it hopes to make new connections in both the hardware and software field.
"You get to meet everyone at CES, which is a lot of fun. ... It is also a chance to take the pulse of our own technology," HylA(c)en said.
CES takes place between Jan. 8 and Jan. 11.
Send news tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Five Steps to Achieve Success in your Application Security Program This white paper provides a general framework your organization can use to create or build upon an application security program. It includes guidelines...
- Unlock the Value of Enterprise Mobility Download this guide and learn how to manage the secure deployment of enterprise mobile apps and data, while still encouraging the levels of...
- Rebranded Quadmark revamps its IT solutions with Google Apps Switching to Google Apps halved Quadmark's IT admin costs while achieving 10% time savings per employee. The global consulting firm now spends 80%...
- Manufacturing Outlook: Improving time to market, operational effectiveness and innovation in a highly competitive environment An enterprise project portfolio management solution can help manufacturers position themselves in the new competitive landscape.
- Live Webcast
Transforming Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain Effectiveness with Cross-Functional Analytics
Date: May 6th, 2014
Time: 1 PM EDT
Attend this Webcast to find out how Oracle's packaged analytic applications enable line-of-business managers to examine all...
- Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior This scientific white paper, using statistical data from Amakai's streaming network, analyzes how changes in video quality cause changes in viewer behavior.
- Service-Enabling CICS Applications: Best Practices This informative webcast provides an informed, thorough look into CICS service-enablement options and how they can affect your environment. You'll learn how to... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts