Tobii Eye Tracking is watching you, watching Tobii

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I stumbled upon Tobii eye tracking while walking the VR & Gaming section on the CES 2017 show floor. I spoke with Henrik Johansson who explained Tobii is a smart eye tracking device integrated into some Alienware, Acer and MSI gaming laptops. Tobii eye tracking means you can look at something, say a Zombie, click a button on the controller, then your view instantly changes to the zombies head, click again, and you have Zombie death. 

Tobii eye tracking is not just for gaming

The eye tracking technology not only applies to reducing the zombie population but can even help within Windows by jumping the mouse pointer to where you are looking. For example, if you have a whole bunch of Windows open and you are ALT-TABBING between each one, you can simply look at the Window you wish to switch to, and hey presto, done.

How does it work?

Tobii eye tracking incorporates a set of custom designed sensors, projectors, and algorithms to figure out where you are looking. As I first started looking at the monitor, there was a slight delay. However, after we ran the 30-second calibration software that soon fixed it up.

You do not need to run out to purchase a laptop with Tobii incorporated. You can add the device to any existing laptop or monitor. All is needed is to attach a small magnetic strip to the laptop or monitor then attach the Tobii device. A USB 2.0 cable provides power. The Tobii eye tracker will work just fine on any monitor up to 30 inches, any larger then some tracking will be lost in the edges.

For those users looking to add Windows hello to an existing system, then Tobii supports it. For those not familiar with Windows Hello. Windows Hello first appeared in some Microsoft Surface devices allowing you to look at the camera to log into Windows. Since the camera senses depth, then there is no faking it with using a picture of someone.



Eye Tracking in VR?

Eye tracking in VR is probably the next step. Oculus and others agree since Oculus purchased eye tracking company The Eye Tribe. Tobii did confirm during CES that eye tracking will be integrated into some future VR headsets but could not yet say when this would be available.

Tobii eye tracker is currently available today from Amazon for $149.


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AUTHOR

Steven Paterson

Based in California. I am Scottish, I like Scotch and, oh yeah, a little VR too.

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