A laptop prototype controlled by the user’s eye movement is introduced to the press. Sweden-based Tobii Technology, which specializes in eye tracking devices for the disabled, demonstrates this innovation using a Lenovo laptop.
The device tracks the user’s gaze and figures out where in the screen the eyes are looking. During the demonstration, the laptop is able to scroll a text on the screen in response to eye movements. It even senses whether the reader has reached the end of the visible text.
The technology turns a user’s eyes into a mouse, controlling a cursor that could even click through buttons and links on the screen. However, the representative from Tobii explains that it does not replace the traditional keyboard and mouse, but rather a complement to make computers more efficient.
It works by having an eye tracker integrated into the laptop, which beams two invisible infrared lights at the user. Two hidden cameras then check for “glints” off the user’s eyeballs and reflections from each retina.
The eye tracker has to be calibrated for each user and can even work for people who wear glasses.
There are concerns whether such laptops would be too costly for consumers, considering how expensive Tobii’s current standalone eye trackers are. Its representative says that adding a consumer-oriented eye tracker in a laptop would cost much less than speculated.
The prototype laptops will be demonstrated in public at the upcoming CeBIT technology trade show in Hannover, Germany. Tobii claims these laptops may see the light of production “perhaps” in two years.