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This year I got my hands on a eye tracker from The Eye Tribe. This is the world first $99 eye tracker and a giant step towards new thinking and methods of working. The eye tracker has for a long time been used in the area of research, marketing and aid in communication with acute disabled people. However the price for eye tracking equipment over the past years has been a staggering of $2000 to $5000 US Dollars, making it a huge investment and almost impossible if you don’t have the means or necessity to buy one. The steep price reduction from The Eye Tribe has also enforced the current largest eye tracking company Tobii to respond with a partnership with SteelSeries an to produce an eye tracker to $195 (pre-order price).

This is the motivation for creating new and exiting eye tracking applications for the consumer market, following the creation of a prototype DesktopEye.

The DesktopEye (lack of name creativity) is a prototype to easy access and changing between window processes. It uses the eye tracker from The Eye Tribe to record eye position and trigger a menu to show when looking in the bottom left corner. The menu will build it self from running processes present as windows on the desktop. By looking at the menu entries, it will trigger the process to show and be brought to front. When looking upwards and away from the menu will result in automatically closing the menu.

Eye tracking to switch between windows.

The image is an illustration of the menu while looking at Visual Studio. The red dotted area is to illustrate the trigger area to show the menu. The project can be downloaded here as DesktopEye. Again this is a prototype and it lacks some functionality towards how windows are handled and explorer windows are not supported either as they are part of the process explorer. However I hope this project will motivate further development and work as inspiration towards useful eye tracking applications.

The eye tracker has arrived!

3 Responses to “DesktopEye an Eye Tracking Prototype”

  1. Alper Kaya

    Unfortunately there seems no hope for disabled people yet… Just a gaming equipment: (

    • Jeff Kang

      Gaze Group, which is Eye Tribe when they were a nonprofit, has a free gaze-based interface for simulating mouse clicks by gaze input only called GazeMouse (gazegroup/org/downloads).

      By the way, you don’t need an eye tracker to test out GazeMouse; you can just use your mouse to mouse-over the widgets in order to activate them. After doing so, stopping mouse movement will simulate a fixation, and will resultantly apply the action.


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