The Metro UI style for Windows 8 is distinctive. It’s colorful, blocky, crisp, oh and it’s designed primarily with tablets in mind. Yeah, it’s easy to swipe and touch, but what about use on a desktop? Well the Tobii Gaze interface has you covered. By using eye-tracking software in tandem with Windows 8’s built-in set of swipe controls, Tobii Gaze eliminates most if not all of the hurdles one might face using Windows 8 on a desktop.
Now Tobii Gaze isn’t going to do everything by itself. If it did, it actually wouldn’t be nearly as effective. Instead, Gaze uses your eye movements to direct the cursor, and then accepts touchpad input to confirm the action. For instance, you look at an icon, Gaze will select it, and then you tap your touchpad to confirm. This way you don’t have any of that awkward hover-to-confirm action that’s plaguing interface navigation on the Kinect.
Likewise, on pages other than the desktop, Gaze will keep tabs on where your eyes are looking in general and then, if you want to click on a link or do some other activity that requires some accuracy, you just touch the touchpad and it’ll give you standard mouse functionality, starting the cursor in the general area your eyes had been gazing.
Of course, this isn’t anything completely revolutionary, at least from an application standpoint. There’s nothing Gaze will let you do that you couldn’t do moderately well with traditional input schemes. However, the biggest potential Gaze seems to show is in its willingness to work alongside traditional input schemes instead of trying to buck them completely. Again, the Kinect is a perfect example of the other side of the coin, and while it works, if often leaves you thinking “Okay, but maybe if I just had one button.” Gaze’s biggest potential contribution to UI might not be the eye-tracking itself, but rather the courage to incorporate a bit of the old school in its new school jazz. More power to it.
- Eye-tracking projector keeps your eye on the game
- Face-swapping in real time. It’s creepy and awesome.