Tobii EyeMobile For Windows 8 Frees Tablets For Eyes-Only Users

Eye-tracking specialist Tobii has launched its latest peripheral, the Tobii EyeMobile, bringing gaze control to Windows 8 tablets like Microsoft's Surface. Combining the company's PCEye Go tracker with a special cradle for your slate, the USB accessory brings eye control to everything from Office and other productivity apps, through entertainment apps like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Kindle, to social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter. Tobii is positioning the EyeMobile setup as ideal for those with physical and communication impairments who still want to use a full-featured PC.

That might include those with ALS, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, Rett syndrome, or spinal cord injuries, Tobii suggests, or any other condition that would make hands-off control a benefit. Mounting options include dashboard use, for safer in-car computing, as well as to a wheelchair or workstation.

Two versions of the bracket are offered, in silver and in black, and the PCEye Go can be removed and plugged into another Windows 8 desktop or laptop. Tobii also provides its own "Windows 8 Functions Overlay" add-on for controlling the OS' gesture features, such as snapping different windows together for split-screen view in the Metro interface.

Power is from the tablet itself, and Tobii says it should work with any Windows 8 model. The company has specifically tested Microsoft's own Surface, however, along with Dell's Latitude 10, Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2, and Samsung's ATIV Smart PC 500T.

Whereas peripherals like Kinect have shown us movement tracking can be cheap, however, Tobii's eye-tracking system is somewhat more expensive. The core EyeMobile system comes in at $4,250, though if you already have the $3,900 PCEye Go you can get the tablet mount for $390.

Tobii also offers complete setups, with either a Dell Windows 8 tablet or Microsoft's Surface Pro, for $5,325 or $5,150 respectively.