Microsoft and eye-tracking hardware company Tobii have continued their collaboration today. Tobii says with Microsoft, Intel, and EyeTech DS support, it has created a new USB Standard for eye tracking.
The company calls the standard “groundbreaking” and it provides eye-tracking technology to be as accessible as keyboards, mice, controllers, and other HID (Human Interface Devices) standard peripherals.
“At the highest level, this is further confirmation of the increasing adoption and critical value that eye tracking delivers for general interactive use in computers, smartphones, head-mounted displays and other devices,” explained Tobii in the blog post.
“In addition, this enables opportunities for deeper integration with operating systems via an established interface that operating system vendors and hardware integrators can rely on.”
In a blog post to announce the standard, Tobii says this development will aid the whole eye tracking sector. Described as a “giant leap” the standard will help eye tracking hardware to become a standard control method for wider consumer technology.
“Having an industry standard specification for eye tracking gives consumers better predictability if a device is compatible with an operating system, game or application.”
Eye Tracking with Microsoft
Last August, Microsoft announced its Eye Control feature for Windows 10. It is a navigation and input tool that helps disabled users access Windows.
“Eye Control makes Windows 10 more accessible by empowering people with disabilities to operate an onscreen mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech experience using only their eyes. The experience requires a compatible eye tracker, like the Tobii 4C, which unlocks access to the Windows operating system to be able to do the tasks one could previously accomplish with a physical mouse and keyboard.”
Tobii is a key partner in Eye Control as the technology is exclusive to the company’s eye tracking hardware.
In related eye tracking news, we wrote last month about the EyeMine Eye-Tracker. The eye-tracking software works with Windows desktops and laptops to let disabled users play Minecraft. It uses eye tracking software and hardware to control a mouse. The free software allows those with physical impairments to use their eyes to perform tasks. For example, placing blocks when building or selecting items in the inventory.