Smartphones and tablets aren’t the only treasures to be discovered here at Mobile World Congress.
Tucked away in one of the massive halls is Danish company The Eye Tribe, and its eye-tracking demo has turned many a head here in Barcelona, including ours.
The Eye Tribe’s ultimate aim is to bring eye-tracking control to the masses at a far more affordable price than traditional existing technology which remains expensive and inaccessible to consumers.
Currently the company is selling a US$99 eye tracker along with an SDK for developers to start incorporating the technology into their apps.
Anders Bo Pedersen, Mobile lead and Partner and The Eye Tribe told Stuff that the company’s ultimate aim is to license their software to manufacturers, who will already have the hardware built into it their devices.
How does it work?
Like the Leap Motion, the Eye Tracker uses infrared red light to work its tracking magic. If you’ve seen footage of people’s faces being recorded with a night vision camera, you’ll notice how brightly their eyes reflect the light, and that’s how the Eye Tracker is able to detect where you’re looking.
It’s accurate enough to track an area the size of a fingerprint after a brief calibration is set up, and you can then use your eyes to navigate around an OS.
Currently only Windows is supported for consumers, but an OS X version is expected in April. We were shown an microUSB Android attachment nicknamed ‘the dice’, and the Android SDK will be available later this year.
What’s it like?
Scarily accurate. The calibration takes around ten seconds and involves you looking at circles that pop up around the display. You can’t massively change the angle of how you hold the tablet after calibration, but there is still a decent amount of leeway.