Eye Tracking Tablet Unveiled

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Tobii Technology, a major player in the field of eye tracking and gaze interaction (and a company that Adrian and Andrew enthused about after first seeing at #CES earlier this year), in partnership with NTT Docomo Inc., Japan-based provider of leading-edge mobile voice, data and multimedia services, has developed what is believed to be the world’s first eye tracking-enabled tablet device, to be officially showcased at CEATEC Tokyo in October.

The ibeam device is the first tablet with a completely embedded eye tracker.

Tobii Technology is headquartered in Danderyd, Sweden, with offices in the U.S., Germany, Norway, Austrlia, China, and Japan.

“This is an exciting step forward as we continue to pursue our vision of a world in which eye tracking enhances our interaction with everyday devices,” says Henrik Eskilsson, Tobii CEO. “We are thrilled to see so many companies taking an interest in exploring the possibilities with Tobii’s eye-tracking technology. We will see more and more proof-of-concept prototypes like this as the industry moves closer to realizing the benefits of eye tracking.”

Developed in partnership with NTT DOCOMO’s manufacturing partner, Fujitsu, the ibeam prototype uses the most advanced and compact eye tracker in the world, the Tobii IS20, allowing an unsurpassed eye-tracking experience when using the device. The ibeam will also showcase the future possibilities of natural user interfaces for computers and tablets using gaze interaction. With this capability, users can also interact with the tablet hands-free while still retaining complete functionality of the device.

“Since the inclusion of multitouch, location-awareness and gyroscopes in mobile devices, we have witnessed an explosion of creativity from application developers,”
says Eskilsson. “By introducing eye tracking in prototypes like this, we hope to bring about another surge in this creativity. Eye tracking-enabled applications are much more responsive to the user’s attention, creating new possibilities and efficiencies for interfaces, software and games.”

Tobii works extensively with many application partners in the consumer electronics industry as it works to bring eye tracking and gaze interaction to personal computers, gaming systems, televisions and vehicles. With Tobii’s gaze interaction development kit, developers can quickly get started exploring this new modality and bring a new dimension in user experience to their products. Tobii offers gaze interaction development kits for purchase or rental.

The ibeam tablet prototype will make its debut at the NTT DOCOMO booth #4B66 at CEATEC in Tokyo, Oct. 2-6.

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