Tobii Eye-Tracking Tech Gets Smaller, Cheaper, Better

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Tobii’s Eye Tracker technology, which can pinpoint where you’re looking on a computer screen, is moving a step closer to the mainstream with the IS-2, a smaller, cheaper and more reliable model.

The new Eye Tracker is 75 percent smaller than its predecessor, the IS-1, and consumes 40 percent less power. It can read eye movement from 31.5 inches away–roughly 2 inches farther than the IS-1–and has a wider area in which the user’s head can move.

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Tobii won’t say by how much the price point has been lowered, but it’s still not low enough to be part of your next computer. For now, Tobii says the technology is ideal for arcade games, slot machines, infotainment systems in public places, computer aided design and medical imaging. When I talked to the company at CES, they said Eye Tracking was at least a couple years away from going mainstream.

But at least it’s getting there. Tobii’s Eye Tracker was one of my favorite demos at CES, mostly because it worked the way it was supposed to. Without any training or much guidance, I was using my eyes to blow up virtual asteroids, open Windows 8 apps and control which windows scrolled along with my mouse wheel. If eye tracking ever gets small enough and cheap enough to become part of mass market laptops and desktops, it could be a huge time saver.

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