The lights are on
Swedish company Tobii Technology has teamed up with peripheral company SteelSeries to release an eye tracking system for PC gaming, and the possibilities are pretty cool.
During a demo of the system at CES I got to play World of Warcraft using Tobii's eye tracking development kit. Once the system was calibrated to my eye movements, the game's camera started to scroll in the direction I looked. I didn't find this jarring; in fact it added to the level of immersion I felt while playing the game. Using my eyes I was also able to target enemies I was attacking and pull up menu options such as a minimap.
Tobii dreams that developers will also be able to use their tech to add extra layers of immersion into their games. For example, when you walk into a new room in a game characters could notice what you're looking at and comment on it, respond to your gaze with a smile, or get nervous if you stare at their coin purse for too long.
The applications of this technology are certainly cool, but we'll have to see how developers embrace the tech. Tobii recently started taking dev kit preorders for $95, and we expect to see a retail unit somewhere before the end of the year. Check out the video below to see eye tracking in action.
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