Swedish eye-tracking and eye control specialist Tobii Technology visited ZDNet UK today to show off a prototype system built into a Lenovo notebook.
The ability for a computer to track a user's eye movements, and for the user to control aspects of computer operation using eye gestures, has obvious value in situations where the hands are otherwise occupied (a surgeon in a hospital, for example) or are disabled in some way.
The basic principle behind Tobii's system is corneal reflection tracking: near-infrared light sources create reflections on the cornea, and image sensors detect the position of the pupil and/or iris; a mathematical model of the eye then calculates its position and the point of gaze.
Here is ZDNet UK editor Rupert Goodwins casting an eye over the technology:
Jenny Grant, Business Development Manager at Tobii Technology, told ZDNet UK that it's likely to take two years for the system on show to reach the market. Still, it looks an intriguing contender in the quest to free us from the tyranny of the mouse.
For more on 'the death of the mouse', catch BBC Radio 4's Click On at 4:30pm next Monday (April 18).