There’s a new way to play and this time you’ll use your eyes! Swedish company Tobii Technology recently unveiled its new eye-tracking sensor. Demonstrated at CES, it’s an impressive technology and the company’s offering dev kit preorders for only $95!
Tobii has partnered with peripheral company SteelSeries to manufacture the device. It looks very similar to the Wii’s sensor bar and would rest above or below your monitor. But its’ fitted with a camera and three infrared lights which follow your eye movements while you game. In its CES debut, the tracking worked surprisingly well.
Tobii’s convinced that eye tracking will revitalize gaming the way motion control did with the Wii. While that remains to be seen, it’s an intriguing prospect. Tobii has announced that dev kits will be available soon, and can be preordered for $95. You can visit the company’s site here.
When the controller launches this summer basic support for approximately 100 games. A name and final price point have yet to be announced. For more information, Tobii’s press release follows below:
Game On: Tobii and SteelSeries team up to bring gamers the world’s first mass-market eye tracking peripheral
Press Release • Jan 03, 2014 07:03 EST
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 3, 2014—Tobii Technology, the global leader in eye tracking, and SteelSeries, a leading manufacturer of top-quality gaming gear, today announced a partnership to launch the world’s first mass-market consumer eye tracking device for gamers. At International CES 2014, Tobii and SteelSeries will be at Unveiled on Jan. 5 and in the LVCC South Hall 2, Booth #25333, Jan. 7-10 showcasing the richer, more immersive gaming experience that will be possible using eye tracking in a variety of games, for instance real-time strategy and first-person shooter games. Game developers who want to lead the innovation and be part of the first wave of eye tracking games can preorder the Tobii EyeX Developer Kit at a special price of $95 during the show.
“We’re proud to announce this new partnership at CES. As the leader in eye tracking technology, Tobii is positioned not only to impact but also to change the way that gamers experience and play games,” said Bruce Hawver, CEO of SteelSeries. “Eye tracking is something entirely different and exciting for this consumer market, and we are thrilled to be working alongside Tobii and the developer community to deliver an entirely new technology to this industry.”
SteelSeries expects to announce further details about the partnership and products over the next several months. The Tobii EyeX Controller, which will be showcased at CES, will be an example of how eye tracking peripherals can look and function.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with SteelSeries to bring a truly revolutionizing gaming product to market that will be a key milestone for expanding eye tracking into new, exciting, mass consumer markets,” said Henrik Eskilsson, CEO of Tobii Technology. “SteelSeries is recognized for premium products and a deep commitment to gaming and game development. Our organizations complement each other in a way that creates optimal conditions for eye tracking to provide amazing new experiences for gamers and to bring about a major evolution in human computing.”
Gaming immersion never experienced before
The eyes are used to signal intent and interest, guide your actions, aim, express emotions, and more. This extremely powerful dimension of interaction enabled by eye tracking opens up richer and more immersive gaming scenarios with games that respond to the player in ways that until now have not been possible, such as:
· Natural interaction – Characters’ behavior is influenced by eye contact just as in real life. A shy person might look away. Or someone might become upset if you stare at him too long.
· Revealing intentions – In FIFA, you select the player to whom you want to pass the ball with your gaze so you can continue to operate the selected player with your controls. However, your gaze may also reveal your intentions to your competitors – just as in real life.
· Aiming at gaze point – Aim your flashlight or weapon where you look. Then use the regular controls to shoot.
· Moving as in real life – You move around in a more natural way. Lean forward to look around corners, or pull back to hide. Your gaze reveals your intent, and the opponent may ambush you or change its path.
Tobii eye tracking increases the bandwidth between the gamer and the game, allowing gamers to do more at the same time, which also creates a richer gaming experience. Add an extra aiming mechanism, remove the interruption of the game play by creating easier access to menus and commands, or make games with complex controls easier to learn.
“The integration of eye tracking into the game experience is literally a game changer – not only for the gamers themselves but also for developers,” said Hawver. “Eye tracking capabilities offer game developers a new, creative approach to game development. It becomes a truly immersive experience for players.”
Tobii CES special: $95 Tobii EyeX Developer Kit preorder price
The Tobii EyeX dev kit makes implementation of Tobii eye tracking in games and other software easy. It includes Tobii’s industry-leading eye tracking hardware, unique middleware and development framework, and inspiration from out-of-the-box functionality in a wealth of applications and games. The kit, which will start shipping in March, is available for $95 (regularly $195) from Jan. 3-31 with the promotional code “CES2014” at www.tobii.com/eyex.
“Tech enthusiasts and gamers around the world are waiting for eye tracking to happen in consumer devices, and the expectations are extremely high. For those who want to be part of the next big thing in gaming and computer interaction, don’t wait,” said Henrik Eskilsson, CEO of Tobii Technology. “With the SteelSeries device on the way, the time is now if you want to be among the first to bring eye tracking into games and apps. With Tobii EyeX, you get the tools to innovate and unleash your full creativity in developing the ultimate experience in gaming.”
View Tobii’s Booth #25333 on CES floor plan
About Tobii Technology
Tobii Technology is the global leader in eye tracking and gaze interaction. Tobii delivers comprehensive, market-leading gaze solutions and OEM eye tracking components for applications such as computers, gaming and vehicles. Tobii’s eye tracking technology has accelerated the development of gaze interaction in personal computing, transformed research in many fields and enabled communication for thousands of people with special needs. Founded in 2001, Tobii continues to achieve rapid annual growth and receive awards and recognition for its accomplishments. Based in Sweden, Tobii has a global presence, with offices in the U.S., China, Germany, Japan and Norway, as well as a worldwide network of resellers and partners. For more information, visit www.tobii.com.
SteelSeries is a leading manufacturer of top quality gaming peripherals from headsets, keyboards and mice to controllers, surfaces and software. For more than a decade, SteelSeries has been on the forefront of designing and creating gear for gamers. The company’s continued innovation also comes in collaboration with the world’s leading professional gaming teams and partners. SteelSeries is a global brand that continues to support the growth of competitive gaming tournaments and electronic sports leagues through professional team sponsorships, partnerships and community support. For more information, please visit www.steelseries.com.