Tobii grabbed headlines back in March with their eye-controlled laptop, using a sensor bar under the display to track eye movement and map it to the mouse cursor. Now the company has a version designed for those people who already have a monitor they're happy with, the Tobii PCEye, hooked up with a simple USB cable.
As long as you've got a 15-20" monitor you should be able to use the PCEye, though it's Windows-only at present to OS X users should look elsewhere. Calibration is a one-time, 5-20 second process, and there's a magnetic VESA mount which allows you to snap the sensor-bar off your monitor and use it elsewhere.
Various apps support the eye-control, including an on-screen keyboard for text entry, and more are reportedly on the way. No word on pricing; we're checking in with Tobii.
Update: Ouch. Tobii tells us that, while the price can vary depending on which package you buy, the standard package comes in at $7,000 (or £5,000/€6,000). Probably too much for the home user, but still tempting for the assistive technology market Tobii is targeting.
Tobii Unveils Eye Control Device for Personal Computers
The Ability to Control Any Computer Using Only Your Eyes is Now a Reality with Tobii PCEye
Stockholm, Sweden & Dedham MA, USA; April 5th, 2011: Today, Tobii announced the release of the Tobii PCEye, the most advanced stand-alone eye control device on the market, bringing eye control to the standard computer. It is easy to use, highly accurate and portable. It is compatible with a wide range of software for total access to any personal computer.
Tobii PCEye flawlessly translates eye movement to a mouse cursor on a screen. It is primarily designed for those needing an alternative method for controlling a mouse and a computer, such as individuals suffering from impaired motor skills. By simply attaching the device to a computer screen and connecting the USB cable, users can control their entire computer through gazing, blinking or dwelling on an item with their eyes.
“Ease of use, reliability and outstanding performance were our design goals for the PCEye,” says Oscar Werner, Executive Vice President at Tobii Assistive Technology. “I believe that we have created a device that satisfies a very important need – those with high cognitive levels and motor skill impairments now have the computer access they need to lead a more independent life.”
Computer Access for Everyone with Easy Eye Control
Representing a breakthrough for education leaders and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) users, Tobii PCEye now offers eye tracking to a wider range of users.
“The PCEye offers a solution for the most disabled children I work with,” says Lee Blemings, founder of Sensory Guru. “For the first time ever, children who can only move their eyes will play physical computer games alongside their able-bodied peers. It is a truly groundbreaking product.”
“With Tobii PCEye we can proudly reach out to new, not yet serviced user groups with our AAC products,” says Tara Rudnicki, president of Tobii Assistive Technology. “We have already seen massive interest from the Stroke, MND and ALS communities, people in different rehab situations, military veterans, people suffering from progressive muscle weakness or neurodegenerative disorders and education institutions. We are also overwhelmed by the attention we have received from the development community to extend into AAC eye games.”
“To have an eye gaze system in our school that will enable our young people to access all software independently will promote independence, learning and self esteem," says Simon Yeat, head teacher at Chailey Heritage School.
High Performance for All Eye Types
The PCEye utilizes Tobii’s leading experience in eye tracking technology, as it can effectively track nearly every user regardless of eye color, lighting conditions, environments or head movement. The “track box”, the box that defines the area/volume in which a person's eyes can be tracked, is also one of the largest on the market.
For more European information on the PCEye please visit: www.tobii.com/pceye