Look at the Google Chrome icon on your homescreen, and a fresh webpage opens. Gaze at the search bar, and start typing PSFK.com–no need to move your cursor to the correct location, your words will automatically appear where you’re looking on the screen. Once on PSFK.com, glance at a specific article to open it for further reading.
Sound like science fiction? More like the future of computer interaction. Tobii REX, the first eye-tracking computer peripheral, will make its debut next week at CES 2013. The small, stick-like device attaches to the bottom of a desktop or laptop computer and plugs into the USB port. Users can control input functions that are traditionally reserved for a mouse pointer- scrolling, navigation, zooming, and selecting- with just their gaze.
Tobii Technology introduced Tobii Gaze at last year’s CES as a new interaction interface for Windows 8 with a gaze-controlled laptop. The Tobii REX expands on last year’s offerings, enabling gaze-control interaction on any computer (that has Windows 8). According to the Tobii Technology website, Tobii REX/Gaze will not replace the need for a keyboard or a mouse, but ’reduces a majority of the fuss of moving the mouse pointer around and makes the computer interaction faster, more intuitive and more fun.’
The Tobii REX is currently only available to developers at a cost of $995. Tobii Technology hopes to introduce a mass-market consumer version in 2014, with Carl Korobkin, vice president of Tobii Technology North America predicting, ‘Within the next couple of years we expect gaze interaction to be everywhere in consumer electronics.’