London: A laptop prototype has been unveiled with a device that allows a user to control the computer by sight. The eye-tracking technology monitors the user's gaze and works out where they're looking on the computer screen and means, among other things, that users can play a game where they defeat enemies because the game's lasers hit where they look.
It can also scroll text on the screen in response to eye movements, sensing when the reader has reached the end of the visible text.
In the future, such a laptop could make the mouse cursor appear where the user is looking, or make a game character maintain eye contact, according to Tobii Technology Inc, the Swedish firm behind the tracking technology, the Daily Mail reports.
Now planned for commercial use, the eye tracker works by shining two invisible infrared lights at the user.
Two hidden cameras then look for the glints from eyeballs and reflections from each retina. It needs to be calibrated for each person, and works for those with or without glasses.
Barbara Barclay, general manager of Tobii's analysis solutions business, said rather than a replacement for the traditional mouse and keyboard or the touch screen, the eye-tracking could be complementary, making a computer faster and more efficient to use.
Tobii has been making eye-tracking devices for researchers and the disabled for nearly a decade. The laptop is its way of showing that eye-tracking could expand beyond those uses, Barclay said
The laptop is made by Lenovo Corp, and incorporates Tobii's eye-tracking cameras in a hump on the cover, making the entire package about twice as thick as a normal laptop.