First there was the keyboard and then the mouse. Microsoft later added gesture controls with the Kinect. Now Tobii wants to take things to the next level by letting users control computers with their eyes using a technology called Gaze. The concept it simple: Instead of dragging your mouse pointer across the screen or lifting your hand to touch the display, Gaze lets you simply look at what you want to select and youre done.
We took some time at CES to chat with Anders Olsson of Tobii who was able to give us a few demonstrations of various use cases. The first demo was of a game called "EyeAsteroids," where we were able to simply look at the targets on the screen in order to destroy them. Next we were shown a CAD drawing where a user can easily zoom in and out of the diagram and bring up contextual menus by looking at the individual pieces. Last, we were able to control Windows 8 using a trackpad and our eyes in order to manipulate icons, links, and even Word documents. Just look at what you want and release your finger to select.
The company is currently selling their product to people with disabilities as well as the CAD market where vision controls help speed up productivity. They have worked with Lenovo to build the sensors directly into a prototype laptop and also have created a small standalone sensor array that can attach to the top of a monitor. They expect to begin selling directly to the consumer market in the next couple of years.