Tobii has been slowly upgrading and improving its eye-tracking technology for years, first creating a laptop with eye control, then showing what was possible with an arcade version ofEye Asteroids. Developers have been able to unlock the possibilities of eye control with the company’s Rex peripheral, and now the tech will finally be going commercial with the coming SteelSeries product.
Neither Tobii or SteelSeries has revealed much in the way of details of the unnamed device, which will be based on Tobii’s forthcoming EyeX controller. The new controller will be targeted specifically at gamers and isn’t designed to replace traditional game controls, but augment them, making things like accessing menus or designating targets faster and more intuitive.
An EyeX Developer Kit is currently available for pre-order to give developers time to implement eye-tracking into their games, ahead of the planned commercial availability of the device in mid 2014. The Dev Kit will be available at the promotional price of US$95 until the end of January, with the price increasing to $195 after that.
The EyeX controller is the successor to an earlier effort called the Tobii Rex. Like that device, the EyeX is a USB-connected bar that includes a multitude of sensors for finding and tracking eye movements – from looking one way or another to blinking to pupil dilation (obviously, Tobii’s main thrust is in working with manufacturers to integrate this technology into their devices, rather than pushing the EyeX Controller as a consumer device).