1 of 3Image
Tobii Lenovo eye-controlled laptop
Eye-tracking technology specialist Tobii and hardware manufacturer Lenovo have created a pioneering eye-controlled laptop that lets people choose documents by looking at them.
The partners showed off the prototype Lenovo PC (pictured) at the CeBIT show in Hanover this week. Using Tobii's Eye Tracker Integrated System (IS), it allows people to interact with parts of Windows 7 by looking at the screen.
The system, embedded in the horizontal black strip between the keyboard and the monitor, uses two cameras to track a user's pupils as they focus on different areas of the screen. It then sends the x and y locations of the person's gaze to the computer.
If the eye tracker detects that the user's gaze is directed slightly to the left or the right of the laptop screen, a side-based menu will flash up, allowing different documents to be selected by looking at them. The screen can also react contextually to the gaze; for example, if the caps lock key is pressed, the 'Caps Lock On' notification will appear on the screen at the point where the eyes are focused.
ZDNet UK tested the technology on Wednesday. After the 10-second calibration process and perhaps half a minute of acclimatisation, it felt natural to direct the cursor by focusing on areas of the screen, rather than using the trackpad. The level of accuracy was high, with no discernible lag between focusing on an area and the device reacting. The side-based menu could easily be scrolled through, selected and expanded by focusing on different areas.
Photo credit: Jack Clark