We just had the chance to sit down with Tobii's Gaze eye tracking technology, which the company hopes will eventually be a mainstay in consumer electronics and be adopted by PC manufacturers in the years to come. The project is a direct result of research conducted in 2001 at Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology. Tobii had numerous Windows 8-based demos on hand to exhibit its futuristic tech, including a photo gallery that allowed us to navigate through pictures by shifting our glance and enlarge a chosen photo by focusing on it. A web browser demo scrolled automatically as our eyes read through the text on screen. That space-themed EyeAsteroids game we told you about previously was also on full display.
As for our initial impressions, we found that while the cool factor is certainly there, the execution at this point in time is rather lacking. Each demonstration showed potential and offered fleeting moments of "wow", but all too often we found that things just didn't work smoothly. There were numerous occasions when the tracking momentarily failed, and while the technology almost always regrouped, the disconnect was jarring. The software experienced numerous quirks throughout our time with it, ultimately feeling more awkward than impressive as a result. Still, it's important to remember that this technology isn't close to reaching consumers, giving Tobii time to refine its vision of what eye tracking should be. What the company has here is a promising but admittedly imperfect foundation.
Chris Welch contributed to this story.