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Input Devices Hardware Technology

Tobii Releases Eye-Controlled Mouse For PCs 67

Zothecula writes "Sweden's eye tracking and control innovator Tobii has announced the release of a stand-alone eye control device called PCEye. Like the laptop-based prototype system demonstrated at CeBIT last month, the device tracks eye movement and translates it into mouse cursor action onscreen. Positioned in front of a PC monitor and connected via USB, the company says that the technology is compatible with a wide range of software and has been primarily designed to improve computer interactivity for users with impaired motor skills, such as stroke victims." The estimated price range is around $7k, so yeah. Start saving your pennies for something cooler.
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Tobii Releases Eye-Controlled Mouse For PCs

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  • Mouse is a piece of hardware. Cursor is the pointing device on the screen.

  • But... (Score:4, Funny)

    by boristdog ( 133725 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @11:59AM (#35721468)

    But what if I don't want to just click on pictures of breasts?

  • by Lord Lode ( 1290856 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @12:04PM (#35721532)

    I wonder if someone is able to create something similar using an $20 webcam and some coding? :)

    • by Amouth ( 879122 )

      i assure you it's the software thats the expensive part..

      • But software costs $0 to manufacture. The research and development of that software is already done. I think that this kind of technology has a much larger market than just the disabled. Bringing the price down a couple orders of magnitude could make them a bigger profit, and get this technology in the hands of many more people.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          But software costs $0 to manufacture. The research and development of that software is already done.

          You're either joking, or have never worked in software development.

          If it took several years and a whole lot of manpower to develop it, they need to recoup their past costs and pay for on-going maintenance and development, and pay their investors back. Oh, and of course pay for offices and support staff. It's not like the cost and time of development is negligible and then you just move onto selling it chea

        • by Amouth ( 879122 )

          no - the software costs millions to manufacture.. and costs just pennies to duplicate.

          the making it up in volume works but it depends on the market they are aiming for.. while i bet this does it's job and allows a stroke victim to use a computer i bet it isn't of the quality most people would want for gaming.. there for they stick to their market to make back their money.

          • Duplicating is manufacturing. To make a car analogy, the process of actually putting the cars together in the factory is what we call manufacturing. The process by which a new model of created is usually called research, development, design, engineering, or many other things which are involved. For software, most of the cost is design,development, and engineering. Once the software has been designed, the manufacturing process is simply just pressing disk, or making it availble for download. Hence the t
            • by Amouth ( 879122 )

              you are correct but the point still stands - they need to recoup their cost - i'm sure if they thought it was good enough for mass consumption that they would have ventured down that route.

        • Have you ever looked at a health care bill? These are for stroke victims, etc., so they'll try to get their R&D cost back by selling them to people who are rich and/or have good health insurance.
    • I suspect that slightly more would be required for good results; but I do have to wonder how this new toy is different from the optical gaze-tracking technologies that have been around for at least a couple of decades now...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wonder if someone is able to create something similar using an $20 webcam and some coding? :)

      It can be and I have done it. Its based on head movement but can be easily done with the eyes and a little bit coding revamped. Free VS 7grand. Seems fair to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      S. Xavier-de-Souza, M. Van Dyck, J. Suykens and J. Vandewalle, "Fast and Robust Face Tracking for CNN Chips: Application to Wheelchair Driving", Int’l Workshop on Cellular Neural Networks and Their Applications, 2006.

      Not exactly the same, but I think that is close. I have seen it working. Not $20 but way cheaper. Some video demos at

    • Yes, already done (with a PS3Eye) ... and for graffiti writing: []
    • I wonder if someone is able to create something similar using an $20 webcam and some coding? :)

      I imagine that one advantage is the outsourcing of the image recognition to an external processor. Rather than using _your_ CPU for all of that math, you can use an external box for that. By using its own camera and its own circuitry, the only processing it needs to do on your computer is the mouse movement. (which hardly requires any power). Essentially, you can add the feature without slowing your computer down at all. (just speculation, though)

      Also, I agree with the others. It's not expensive becau

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        7k basically buys you a good camera and a full computer.

        eye tracking and head tracking and etc trackign solutions are old as fff..... and it's not expensive because of the "enermous r&d", with that logic anything is expensive - and the costs for the r&d are largely just something they agreed on by themselfs. the market is small because there's not that many uses where it's actually good now, the use for the pointing device if you can use a normal pointing device is very limited.

        • the market is small because there's not that many uses where it's actually good now, the use for the pointing device if you can use a normal pointing device is very limited.

          Yeah - small market (handicapped computer users) means high prices. Another reason why it costs $7k.

          eye tracking and head tracking and etc trackign solutions are old as fff..... and it's not expensive because of the "enermous r&d"

          If they actually have it working smoothly and reliably, then no, it isn't old. Try some motion tracking in After Effects or even Mocha's tracker and after seeing the ridiculous limitations of it you'll see how far behind the field is. Motion tracking is _not_ a developed field. It's still very much in the wild and it takes a certain type of engineer (i.e. high salary) to wrestle with these types of proble

    • If you look at the market.. HREF= []Here's a competing product going for $11,749 AUD which is over $12,000 in US dollars.

      Being that these guys apparently have a number of products in this market already, I suspect they already know what the price levels are. (I bet a lot of their stuff is paid by insurance in whole or part too)

      I'm not saying it's not expensive as heck, but that's how things are in those low-volume/high-margin m

  • OpenGazer (Score:4, Informative)

    by allawalla ( 1030240 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @12:10PM (#35721588)
    Wish they would release a new version, but this one is free and works decently []
  • this should even the field between the noobs and pros with "skill". Can't wait until someone produces a server mod for [insert favorite fps here] that dis-allows this device.

  • by aardwolf64 ( 160070 ) on Tuesday April 05, 2011 @12:46PM (#35722002) Homepage

    Darn that new eye-controlled mouse! Everywhere I try to look on the page, there's a pointer in the way!

    • Indeed. There are a lot of problems with just having the pointer just follow a person's eyes. Obviously there are applications in terms of accessibility (which appears to be the target market), but for the general user this would be painfully frustrating to use: people very frequently look at one part of the screen while typing/manipulating in some other window. There's also no way that using your eyes would be as easy and accurate as using a mouse (your eyes intentionally jitter about []).

      I'm disappointed
    • Have you never heard of ShieldCursor()?

      The cursor goes away when you start typing. Also, I don't know about this one for sure, but similar ones in the past required you do hold modifiers to indicate you wanted it to follow your eyes. (Yes, I think having to hold modifiers+ use eyes is still optimally way better than a trackball, which I use instead of a mouse.)

  • I've had issues with my wrist for a few years.
    The thought of being able to work/play grindy mmos without having to agitate my wrist sounds wonderful. (But bad too, because I might get addicted again)
    $7k is absolutely unreasonable though, hopefully in a few years and with a competitor or two it'll drop down to something your average guy can buy.
  • There are often times in which I do not want the mouse cursor covering up what I'm looking at. For example, typing this would be an SOB if the cursor fallowed where I'm looking.
  • Do they assume Apple users only have one eye?

  • Not convinced about the practical use for this, your eyes are generally working one step ahead of your hands.

    Let's say I'm playing Bejewled in timed mode, where you need to make moves as fast as possible- my eyes are already looking for the next move as my hand makes the move I've just found.

    Same goes for browsing the internet or many other tasks, where my eyes are looking at something else while my hands move the cursor to a link or, say, Next Page button...

    Ask any guitar/bass player, they're not looking a

  • Natural point tracks head movement and has for almost a decade.
    Seems much cheaper and simpler than $7000. []

  • ... by Stephen Hawking []? I'd be impressed if so.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Now I can get Carpel Tunnel Vision.

  • FTFA

    ...after installing some software, users will be able to control various onscreen actions by looking at, blinking at, or fixing your gaze on an object.

    So what, two blinks is a double-click? A wink is a right click? What about when our eyes are just plain dry?

    This could get disorienting real fast...I'm not saying it's not good for some special circumstances, but IMHO people just aren't as consistent with their eyes as they are with their hands. Even while typing this, I'm looking around my desktop, checking my notification icons, etc. (ooh, I have mail) It would be disconcerting if my cursor were jumping right along with me, and downright frustrat

  • We do a similar piece of software that tracks your face movement: it's free, and you can get it from []

    Install (Windows only), run, position your head facing ahead at the webcam, and then move the mouse around by turning and raising/lowering your head. There are two versions, one that click automatically when you stop moving your head and one that doesn't (so you can use another dwell program of your choice.)

  • Paging legendary musician, Jason Becker.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal