Eye-tracking technology has been slowly emerging as a viable technology the last couple of years, and it comes in real handy when you want to know which parts of a Facebook profile people actually look at. One of the leaders in the space, Tobii, is set to bring the tech to consumers in 2013 with a peripheral that works with any Windows 8 PC.
Tobii will show off its eye tracker, called the REX, next week at CES. The REX is a strip that attaches beneath your monitor (desktops and laptops are welcome), and it plugs into a USB port. Once it's in place, the device works with special software called Tobii Gaze to track exactly what you're looking at on the screen, letting you do things as mundane as scrolling sideways or as exciting as blasting asteroids -- all with a glance.
We don't know how much the final product will cost, but there's a clue. The REX is available now to developers, and it costs $995. Tobii says it'll only be making 5,000 of the REX peripherals available for consumer purchase.
Tobii expects to launch the REX in the fall. You can't pre-order them yet, but you can sign up here to receive a "VIP pre-order invitation," which are planned to go out in March.
Tobii is clear that this new technology is intended to work with (not instead of) a mouse and keyboard, and it's not simply an assistive tech for the disabled either. Eye tracking will be a big part of human-machine interaction in the future -- at least as Tobii sees it. We're excited to try it out for ourselves next week.
January 2, 2013