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Could Eye-Tracking Replace Your Mouse?


What if you could dramatically speed up your computing by moving your cursor exclusively with your eyes? A company called Tobii is transforming the way we interact with our screens.

By using your eyes instead of your mouse, you can select what you’re looking at almost instantaneously. Not only does this speed up a tremendous number of computing tasks, but it has the potential to reduce repetitive stress injuries.

But Does It Really Work?
Seeing is believing. So I had to test it for myself. I have to admit I was a skeptic. Most gesture and touch controls I’ve tried in the past at the Consumer Electronics Show have been a little clunky. So I was thinking that something as sophisticated as gaze recognition wouldn’t work very well. Boy, was I wrong. After a one-time calibration that took all of 10 seconds, I started looking around the screen. I expected the cursor to go crazy as I scanned from side to side, but the cursor never moved. Instead, as Tobii CEO and Co-Founder Henrik Eskilsson explained to me, the eye-tracking only registers when you hit a function key on the keyboard that they had outfitted with a blue-sticker. As soon as I found a program I wanted to open, I looked at it on the screen and then hit the blue button.

Boom - the application opened. No mouse, just eye-controlled.  As I zipped around the computer, I very quickly figured it out: look, blue button. Find an icon, stare at it, hit the blue button. Hit the Windows key on the keyboard to go back to the Windows 8 Home screen of tiles, look for something new, hit the blue button. You get the idea.

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