Eye Tracking Professionals - Exchange about methodology, results and experiences
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Robertino Pereira Group moderator01 Mar 2011, 09:39 am
Hannover, Germany—March 1, 2011—
Tobii Technology today unveiled the world’s first laptop with integrated eye control. The prototype laptop has been developed in collaboration with computer manufacturer Lenovo and will be shown publicly for the first time at CeBIT in Hannover, March 1-5.
Lenovo, the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of personal computers, has built the world’s first eye-controlled laptop, using eye tracking technology from Tobii. The laptop is a fully functional conceptual prototype and an important breakthrough for Tobii in its mission to bring its eye tracking technology to serial production and consumer products.
Eye control – a truly natural interface
Most computer manufacturers today endeavor to enhance their products by adding more and more natural interfaces. Using our eyes to point, select and scroll is completely intuitive and complements traditional control interfaces, such as the mouse and keyboard, in a very natural way.
“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.
The Tobii-Lenovo collaboration
The first batch of eye-controlled laptops consists of 20 units split evenly between Tobii Technology and Lenovo for development and demo purposes.
“On the one hand, we have Lenovo, a great partner, representing industry-leading expertise in computer manufacturing and hardware development. Tobii, on the other hand, has the world’s leading eye tracking technology and unique expertise in eye tracking and eye control interfaces. We are very happy with the outcome of this collaboration,” Henrik Eskilsson concluded.
Envision eye control in PC’s
For users, eye control is thrilling and makes the computer interaction more effective. It is as if the computer understands you; just glance at an icon or gadget and more information will be presented; You can zoom pictures or maps and automatically center on the area you are looking at; The computer can auto-dim and brighten the screen when it recognizes your eyes to increase battery time. Eye control can also speed things up by enabling new and intuitive ways to switch between open windows, and browse your 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.”
Read more about eye control in consumer computers and computer interaction.
For a live presentation at CeBIT March 1-5, please visit our booth C13, Hall 9.
Sara Hyléen, Head of PR, Tobii Technology, phone: +46 709 16 16 41, sara.hyleen (@) tobii.com
In United Kingdom:
Louise Mapp, Ascent PR, phone: +44 118 988 0501, email: Louise.mapp (@) ascentpr.co.uk
In The U.S.:
Kristina Messner, Focused Image, phone: +1-703-678-6023, email: kmessner (@) focusedimage.com
About Tobii Technology
Tobii Technology is the world’s leading vendor of eye tracking and eye control, a technology that makes it possible for computers to know exactly where users are looking. Our eye tracking technology has revolutionized research in many fields and enabled communication for thousands of people with special needs. Looking forward Tobii’s mission is to bring eye tracking into broader use. Some of that future is already here. We provide market-leading eye tracking technology to industrial partners in areas such as hospitals, diagnostics, vehicle safety, gaming and computer manufacturing. Tobii continues to realize its visions, showing continuous and rapid year-to-year revenue growth, and receiving numerous awards and recognition for its accomplishments. From our head office in Stockholm, Sweden, our reach is as broad as our vision. With offices in the US, Germany, Norway, Japan and China and a worldwide network of resellers and partners, we are truly a global company.
Robertino Pereira Group moderator01 Mar 2011, 1:23 pm
A lot of companies -- including heavyweights like Microsoft -- believe that motion control is the future of the human-machine interface. But it's an awful lot of work to wave your hands around every time you want to change windows, isn't it? Swedish firm Tobii, which specializes in eye control, teamed up with Lenovo to craft a run of 20 prototype Windows 7 laptops with eye control sensors built-in, and we had a chance to check out the setup here at CeBIT today.
The verdict? It works extraordinarily well -- Tobii clearly knows what it's doing, because even with our sloppy calibration at the start of the session, the system still detected where we were looking with pinpoint precision. One demo the company had set up was an Expose-style layout of all open windows, and we were able to target the smallest of the bunch (Calculator in this case) consistently and naturally -- we never felt like we were "staring" to make something happen. Clearly this is a capability that'll require some UX thought and research, because you don't want the computer to just start doing things as you look around; most of the eye-controlled capabilities they'd baked into the laptop here were triggered with a key command, though one feature we really liked -- a quick bar to access frequently-used media -- was pulled up just by looking beyond the left side of the screen. It also worked very well and never came up when we didn't want it to. The level of precision was further verified with a simple game they've created where you blow up asteroids before they impact Earth just by looking at them; the smallest rocks were only a few pixels wide, and we could consistently blast 'em.
As for commercialization, they're still a ways off -- they're thinking two years if they can team up with the right partner. Tobii says that there's a trade-off between sensor size and accuracy; the prototype has a sizable hump on the back and a roughly inch-wide strip running directly below the display, both of which are pretty impractical for a truly portable machine. The sensor must be below the display, we're told, though it could be made quite a bit thinner -- no wider than the bezel you've got below your notebook's current display. Follow the break for a full video demo!
Frederik Bader02 Mar 2011, 08:36 am
Ich finde das ist eine extrem interessante Sache und ich bin gespannt wie sich das entwickelt und ob es wirklich in 2 Jahren serienreif (und bezahlbar) ist.
Tobii ist nicht zufällig dieses Jahr auf der dmexco vertreten um sich das Notebook mal anzuschauen?
Robertino Pereira Group moderator16 Mar 2011, 3:33 pm
There are also a few film clips to check out and to spread: