(Phys.org)—Tobii Technology is introducing the REX, a USB-connected peripheral that works with Tobii's software Gaze. The Stockholm-based company will show its REX device for Windows 8 at the CES show in Las Vegas, from January 8. Visitors will see how REX offers an eye-tracking difference in the way that desktop and laptop users can manage their screen images, pages and content. One example is a computer user looking at an app for its launch and then just tapping once on the touchpad. The eye-tracking technology from Tobii is designed to use eye positioning to help control the computer, but working in combination with, rather than replacing, other controls such as touch, mouse and keyboard. The user will still find the mouse useful for interacting, but the eyes will handle movements across the screen.
The new REX peripheral is a strip-shaped device that sticks to the base of the computer screen on a desktop or laptop and plugs into the computer via a USB connection. It works with Tobii Gaze software, for launching and browsing. Tobii said that "You can also use zoom and auto-center to quickly navigate, overview and access information. It allows you to easily move between different levels in the file structure all the way from the start page, through open programs and windows, to browsing tabs, slides or sheets in your programs."
Information so far is that a limited edition of 5,000 units will be available before the end of this year. Developers, however, can already obtain their special editions for $995.
Tobii is described as a vendor of eye tracking and eye control. The company is an outgrowth of a research initiative in 2001 at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Its team sees eye-tracking playing more of a part in human machine interaction and they are keen to be a big part of that growth. The REX debut indicates the company's push to bring eye tracking into broader use. This will not be the first time, however, that Tobii has leveraged a major show event to showcase what its eye-tracking technology is all about.
Last year, Tobii drew interest at CeBIT when it showed what it said was the world's first laptop with integrated eye control. The showpiece was a prototype, developed in collaboration with Lenovo. "More than anything else, the Tobii laptop prototype is proof that our eye tracking technology is mature enough to be used in standard computer interfaces," said CEO Henrik Eskilsson, at the time.
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