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Microsoft may be pushing touchscreen control as the wave of the future with Windows 8’s tiled Metro interface, but Tobii Technology thinks just swiping and pointing your way around an operating system is so, like, 2011. Tobii says its novel new "Tobii Gaze" control scheme, which mixes eye-tracking technology with a touchpad and is being shown off at CES next week, delivers superior control compared to both mice and touchscreens. Big words indeed!
Check out the video above to see Gaze in action. Basically, Tobii’s eye-tracking technology takes control of the on-screen cursor; it points to whatever you look at. Clicking the Gaze’s touchpad operates like your standard left-click. Tobii claims that its scheme feels much more natural than traditional touchscreen methods – especially when the touchscreen in question is vertical – and the interface leaves no question as to what’s being clicked, unlike touchscreens, which can have troubles navigating tightly-packed links when controlled by fat fingered individuals (like myself).
Quote time: "Pointing at something by looking at it is intuitive, natural and immediate. Using a mouse to do the same thing is less so, as it involves an intermediate step of moving a mouse-pointer around," Henrik Eskilsson, CEO, said in Tobii’s press release. "Gaze is as natural and intuitive as touch, as precise as the mouse and more ergonomic and effortless than both. Once you have experienced Gaze, a laptop without it feels just as ancient as a laptop without a touch pad."
It’s nifty, and Tobii has plenty of experience with eye-tracking tech. But can they pull this off cheaply enough for Joe and Jill Consumer to care? What are your first impressions of the Gaze?