End the Lie

Companies join forces to develop eye-tracking control system for video games

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By End the Lie

(Image credit: screenshot from Tobii promotional video)

(Image credit: screenshot from Tobii promotional video)

Two companies have joined forces to create a new eye-tracking control system for video games in an attempt to put “eye-tracking on the map for the mass market.”

Eye tracking technology is nothing new and is actually becoming increasingly common in a wide variety of applications, including deception detection.

Yet this particular application is quite different as it is aimed at a widespread consumer audience.

Tobii, one of the companies involved in producing the new product along with SteelSeries, currently makes eye-tracking controllers for people with disabilities and for research applications.

The developers think that the system, which will be demonstrated at the 2014 International CES trade show in Las Vegas next week, will help push eye tracking into the mainstream.

“This is the perfect application for putting eye-tracking on the map for the mass market,” Carl Korobkin, the vice president of OEM Solutions at Tobii, said to VentureBeat..

The technology will allow for precision control in a wide variety of games, as long as users have the required eye-tracking gaming peripheral.

Tobii is no newcomer to the field. They sold their first eye tracker in 2002 and now say they control an estimated 75 percent of the global eye-tracking market.

They are now diversifying into a wide variety of applications outside of gaming, research and applications for the disabled.

In the future, the company may produce software that would automatically scroll through an e-book as the reader moves towards the bottom of the page.

“And it might be able to track how much you pay attention and report back to a teacher how much you absorbed while reading,” VentureBeat reports.

In a promotional video for their technology, the company states that “eye tracking is natural, effortless, almost telepathic.”

“The response for this technology has been overwhelming,” Korobkin said.

With over 400 employees on staff at Tobii and the soon-to-be-released development kit for video games, it seems that eye-tracking technology very well might becoming even more widespread in the near future.

The privacy implications of eye-tracking technology will likely be debated even more in the future if it gains as much traction as companies like Tobii think it will.

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3 Responses to Companies join forces to develop eye-tracking control system for video games

  1. Urs January 5, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    The technology provides a lot of new opportunities and I assume in a few years, it will be part of various mobile and PC devices like Webcams and microphones already do now.
    And yes, the privacy implications of eye-tracking technology will become a concern, especially for technology proven users. But I assume the younger generations don’t care about privacy and hacking the device for commercial and advertising placements. I.e. Google has already a patent registered to capture your gaze paths anytime and anywhere.

  2. Jimmycrackerson January 8, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    What about people who is cross-eyed? What kind of information will that tell them?

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