Tobii Brings Gaze Interaction to Tablet Devices
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN/ BOSTON, USA, September 19, 2013 — Tobii Technology, the global market leader in eye tracking and Gaze Interaction, announced today the launch of Tobii EyeMobile — a lightweight, highly portable peripheral that brings true eye-control capabilities to popular Windows 8 tablets, including the Microsoft Surface and Dell Latitude 10, for assistive purposes. Tobii EyeMobile puts individuals with physical and communication impairments at the forefront of consumer technology, allowing them to navigate and control modern, off-the-shelf Windows 8 tablets with the simple, natural and relaxed movement of their eyes.
The Tobii EyeMobile was designed to provide individuals with arthritis, muscular dystrophy, Rett syndrome, spinal cord injuries and other demobilizing conditions with hands-free access to the full functionality of Windows 8 tablet devices, allowing them to live richer, more independent and fulfilled lives. The nature of tablets combined with the eye-tracking capabilities of EyeMobile will allow users to enjoy full tablet functionality while traveling or while in bed or in the classroom. The device is easily mounted to a wheelchair or can be fitted to whatever situation best suits the individual user’s needs.
Composed of the groundbreaking, compact Tobii PCEye Go eye tracker and the multifunctional EyeMobile mounting bracket for tablet connectivity, the Tobii EyeMobile is a truly innovative, mobile computer access solution. Built around Microsoft’s new touch-centric interface for Windows 8, the necessary touch gestures, click types and sideswipes have been cleverly translated into actionable commands using only eye gaze.
“At Tobii, we believe Internet access is a human right, and physical disabilities shouldn’t impede that pursuit,” said Oscar Werner, executive vice president of assistive technology at Tobii. “EyeMobile extends the Tobii experience to popular tablets, enabling anyone with a physical disability to enjoy full Internet and computer access regardless of location or environment.”
In addition to providing access to tablet devices and over 100,000 Windows 8 applications, Tobii EyeMobile can also act as a supplementary augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device that allows users with communication challenges to generate speech via Gaze Interaction. AAC users will be able to use EyeMobile as a secondary voice output device where they normally wouldn’t take their speech-generating device. EyeMobile rounds out Tobii’s range of communication and computer access devices, including the purpose-built speech-generating device, the Tobii I-Series, which was announced earlier this year.
Tobii worked closely with leading Windows tablet manufacturers, including Microsoft and Dell, to develop a solution that complemented popular devices already available or owned by consumers. The accompanying EyeMobile software, Tobii Gaze Selection and its Windows 8 Function Overlay, were designed to mirror all necessary functions of Windows 8 originally designed for touch — such as swiping, tapping and scrolling — using your eyes only, providing a natural and intuitive user experience.
“Tobii’s eye- controlled Windows 8 interface is incredibly innovative and provides a glimpse into the future of more natural digital experiences,” said Rob Sinclair, chief accessibility officer at Microsoft. “Gaze Interaction presents an opportunity to enhance the way we use devices to work, play and communicate.”
“We are always looking for world-class solutions that will enhance the accessibility of our devices and provide customers with high-quality, well-engineered technology that can be tailored to suit their specific needs,” said Joyce Mullen, vice president and general manager OEM Solutions at Dell. “By partnering with Tobii, we have been able to help provide a product that will significantly improve the lives of those who use it.”