Gadgets

Eye-tracking takes a big step towards the mainstream with Tobii’s new dev engine

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Eye-tracking is going to be a big deal for consumers very soon.

But before the tech gets to you, it first has to get to developers — and Tobii wants to make that happen. The eye-tracking company is taking the wraps off its EyeX Engine, a new set of tools that gives developers a simple way to add eye-tracking support to their apps and devices.

The possibilities are pretty exciting. With eye-tracking, developers can, for example, create notifications that disappear when you read them, or create horror games that respond to where you are looking at your screen (Tobii offers a few more examples in the video below). Tobii says that eye-tracking should appear in consumer hardware as soon as next year.

That’s where Tobii’s EyeX Engine steps in. On the developer end, EyeX’s is all about driving adoption: The more developers play with eye-tracking, the more likely they are to adopt it. On the consumer side, Tobii’s goals are just as key: If eye-tracking is ever going to take off in any significant way, developers have to be able to create an experience that’s consistent across apps, operating systems, and devices. It’s really no different from a mouse or keyboard.

Alongside the EyeX Engine, Tobii also announced the EyeX Controller, an external eye tracker that will replace Tobii’s current Rex controller when it ships next March.

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