It's said the eyes are the windows to your soul, but as it turns out, they're also integrated input devices. Or at least that's the idea behind Tobii's eye-controlled laptop concept. Using eye tracking technology from Tobii, the company went and built a fully functional prototype laptop that lets users manipulate images and other functions just by glaring. Freaky stuff, and freakishly cool.
"More than anything else, the Tobii laptop prototype is proof that our eye tracking technology is mature enough to be used in standard computer interfaces. To reach a state where the technology is part of the average computer, we need to make it smaller and cheaper. We believe that this can be realized in a couple of years by partnering with the right manufacturer," comments Henrik Eskilsson, CEO of Tobii Technology.
Tobii CEO Henrik Eskilsson uses the eye gaze to control the computer
Tobii has already partnered with Lenovo and sent the OEM half of its first batch of 20 units, while keeping the other 10 for itself. As Tobii explains it, users can zoom pictures or maps and automatically center on the area they're looking at. This in addition to more common tasks, like switching windows and browsing emails and documents.
"We anticipate that people will be extremely excited to be able to control their computer with their eyes," said Barbara Barclay, general manager of Tobii North America. "But what we find most exciting are the opportunities that eye control as part of natural user interfaces offer consumer electronics manufacturers in a range of product categories. We look forward to working with our partners to find many exciting ways to share and integrate this technology to advance their work."
Suddenly, the Kinect seems kind of lame by comparison.