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Friday, March 11, 2011

The First Laptop To Be Controlled With The Eye


Lenovo, the world’s fourth largest manufacturer of personal computers, a multinational corporation with principal operations based in China and Head Quarters in USA, has built the world’s first eye-controlled laptop, using eye tracking technology from Tobii. Tobii Technology is a manufacturer of hardware and software solutions for eye tracking.

The company was founded by three Swedish entrepreneurs; John Elvesjo, Henrik Eskilsson and Marten Skogo, in 2001 and has continuously shown very rapid year-to-year revenue growth -- in 2007, Tobii was awarded a prize as Sweden’s fastest growing technology company by Deloitte.

What exactly does this technology mean, in plain English? Tobii’s eye-control tech allows users to do things like select, point and scroll, these are things you’d traditionally do with a mouse or track pad. Even more, the developers say that there are already games that are available and which can be played with the eyes only.
Nonetheless, Lenovo and Tobii are on the edge of revolutionizing the notebooks market with this unthinkable product. As the company states: “The laptop is a fully functional conceptual prototype and an important breakthrough for Tobii in its mission to bring its eye tracking technology to serial production and consumer products.” Watch the video below to get a better understanding of what exactly an eye-control laptop really means.

Also, texts can be made to automatically scroll upwards or return downwards as the user reads them by using their eye movement. This is possible due to small infrared camera incorporated in the laptop that track eye’s positioning. But, there’s a fear that this technology will put our eyes to a higher stress. Will the Lenovo-Tobii partnership manage to pass over this issue?

The official representatives of the companies affirm that this technology isn’t very hard to understand and use, as it may seem at first sight. Even if the eye-tracking technology gives the user the chance to do with his eyes things he’d normally do with a mouse, this doesn’t mean that it totally replaces those devices.

“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. To reach a state where the technology is part of the average computer, we need to make it smaller and cheaper. We believe that this can be realized in a couple of years by partnering with the right manufacturer,” comments Henrik Eskilsson, CEO of Tobii Technology.
“On the one hand, we have Lenovo, a great partner, representing industry-leading expertise in computer manufacturing and hardware development. Tobii, on the other hand, has the world’s leading eye tracking technology and unique expertise in eye tracking and eye control interfaces. We are very happy with the outcome of this collaboration,” Henrik Eskilsson concluded.