If this announcement is any indication, we’re in for some seriously cool tech coming to a store near you in 2013: eye-tracking software and hardware company Tobii has announced that it plans to make the Tobii Rex peripheral available for all Windows 8 computers by the end of the year, and has a developer’s model on sale as of today.
The Tobii Rex is a device that looks like a small stick which plugs into your USB port on your PC, The Verge reports, and attaches to the bottom of your screen. Using it alongside traditional input devices like a mouse and keyboard, you can use the hardware to navigate, zoom, select and scroll with your eyes. The device will be designed to work with any PC running Windows 8, so you’ll be able to take advantage of the technology whether you’re a laptop or a desktop user.
You may recognize the Tobii name for their contribution to the world of gaming in 2011, when they developed EyeAsteroids. The classic Asteroids arcade came was re-imagined using eye-tracking software, replacing the game control with your eyes to direct the on-screen actions.
The Tobii Rex proposes making the availability of personal eye-tracking software even more widespread by putting it right on your personal desktop or laptop computer.
The product is the evolution of the Tobii-Lenovo concept laptop, debuted at CeBIT 2011. You can see what the technology looked like in action back then to get an idea of what’s in store when the new peripherals hit the market later this year:
Unsurprisingly, this technology isn’t going to come cheap. While there isn’t a price yet for the 5,000 consumer units Tobii hopes to have released by the end of the year, the special edition developer’s version costs $995 USD. There's a good chance we'll be able to see at least the special edition model in action at CES later this month, so keep your eyes peeled for more updates on the Tobii Rex.
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