Your Eyes are Input Devices

Tobii Technology and Lenovo demo a prototype laptop with an eye tracker.

We’ve all heard of the saying "if looks could kill", but modify it a bit to "if looks could control computers" and it now becomes reality.  A prototype laptop at CeBIT 2011 demoed by Tobii Technology and Lenovo does just that – allow users to influence inputs with just their eyes.

Your Eyes are Input Devices

Tobii or not tobii


Engadget got an eyes-on (heh) at the device and came away impressed. They were able to target the smallest application in a Macintosh-esque Expose-style layout consistently, and were able to bring up a dock of the most used applications just by looking beyond the left the screen. There was a demo of a game where the Asteroids came raining down upon Earth and users could blow up these Asteroids up just by looking at even the smallest among them.

Tobii hope to make this eye-tracking technology useful in complementing traditional input methods and it makes sense to me because we do way too much with our eyes for them to be reliable as sole inputs. Either way, they say users can also stare at something to zoom into it, or look away to dim the brightness of the screen.

All of this sounds pretty good, but we won’t be getting our hands on actually working devices anytime soon – they’re atleast a couple of years away from hitting the market. As of now, the accuracy comes at a price; the demo laptop’s sensors were a huge hump at the back and an inch-wide strip running across the device.

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