Tobii has announced the second generation of its eye-tracking hardware at CeBIT in Hannover, with the promise of better performance in a smaller package. We tested the old hardware with limited success back at CES, and although the company wasn't demoing its replacement it has implemented some software improvements which led to a much better experience this time. Nicolas Pezzarossa, the General Manager of the Tobii's German division, took some time to talk with us about the improvements the company has made to its product since January.
The new sensor is roughly half the size of its predecessor, and is the first suitable for mass production. Although this generation is unlikely to find its way into mainstream consumer products, Tobii envisions applications in CAD (Computer Aided Design), high-end PC monitors or peripherals, air traffic control, and arcade games. Our own Vlad Savov gave Tobii's demo game EyeAsteroids a spin and his ultimate demise can be put down to a lack of practice rather than sensor performance (although we're sure he'd argue otherwise). The game also showcased the technology's potential for improving 3D displays: by detecting the position of your eyes and what they're looking at, the system is able to provide accurate in-game 3D without glasses. Pezzarossa told us that the technology will be integrated into mass-market consumer products in the next two to three years, provided Tobii can find the right partners.