Tobii, Maker of All Things Eye-Tracking, Demos at D9

As digital interfaces continue to evolve, so does the way that we interact with and control technology.

Tobii Technology already makes the eye-tracking tools used by device and software manufacturers to learn about how consumers use their products, and today they take the main stage at D9 to show off something new.

12:16 pm: Walt and Kara are checking out Tobii’s eye-tracking laptop. The technology is being used in many fields, from defense to education.

12:17 pm: Tobii General Manager Barbara Barclay is pointing out that not very much has actually changed in laptop interfaces recently, but eye-tracking will make things more efficient.

12:18 pm: Barclay is demonstrating the interface. She’s using her eyes to flip through menus, and her hands to do the actual selection.

12:18 pm: Previous eye-tracking technology required much longer gazes to get anything done, according to Barclay.

12:19 pm: “The whole idea is that it takes 20-40 milliseconds to look across the screen– why waste time with a mouse?”

12:20 pm: Eye-tracking is a useful supplement to what you’re doing, says Barclay. She’s now using the interface to interact with a map, zooming in on specific locations. “This is a very simple application here.”

12:21 pm: “You can take a Google map, and literally just drill down into the center with this.”

12:21 pm: Barclay’s next example is navigating an image gallery. She’s looking at a picture of Katy Perry, though she’s “not very trendy” anymore, so she switched to a photo of Miles Davis.

12:22 pm: This technology is useful to aspiring developers, because there will come a time when eye-tracking is cheap enough to go in any technology, according to Barclay.

12:23 pm: Walt wants a projection on when we’ll see this technology more widespread. It’s “a few years out,” says Barclay.

12:24 pm: Drowsiness detection for drivers, among other things, is one of many other applications for eye-tracking, according to Barclay. And now it’s time for lunch.

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