We have just finished reporting on how gesture-recognition technology has led to inventions like the Ring from both Logbar and Nod, and CES 2015 has put a spotlight on another type of technology with eye-tracking. This new gaming technology was developed by Tobii Technology, who are the global leaders in eye-tracking. It is quite unique and adopted by SteelSeries, a company best known for making gaming peripherals like headphones and keyboards. The new product, the Sentry Eye Tracker, is an entirely new and different way for gamers to get into the game.
SteelSeries and Tobii want to show CES visitors and the entire Internet how their technology works thanks to Twitch, a leading video platform for gamers that was recently acquired by Amazon. They have popular streamer personalities that will show their global audiences the Eye Tracker in action with games such as Counter-Strike: GO, DOTA 2, League of Legends and much more.
In a demonstration set up at CES, visitors could sit down in front of a game while the Eye Tracker highlights the exact area on screen where he or she is looking. This is done in the form of a small colored circle that is about the size of a quarter, and it shows precisely where the user's eyes are.
I realize that this technology is difficult to describe, but let me use an example. Right now, you are reading this post on a screen, so someone who just walked in the room would just see you looking at just the screen at this article on the Gospel Herald. However, someone outside of you would not be able to see exactly what words you are reading right now. The Sentry Eye Tracker would show someone outside of you exactly what spot you are looking at, and follow your eyes as you looked at various other points on the screen, almost like a second cursor. This technology allows audiences to see the game as the streamer sees it, by tracking eye movement in real time and then overlaying that onto a real-time screen.
SteelSeries and Tobii believe that the Sentry is going to be a game-changer, in many ways. Not only will it change the experience of the one watching the game played, but it will help those who train for competitive gaming. All someone needs to do is focus on what the player is focusing on, and he or she can analyze champion player strategies.
The Steelseries Sentry Eye Tracker is an interesting little box that goes with the computer and costs about $199.99 on the SteelSeries website.
Personally, I see a lot of uses for eye-tracking, and I honestly don't see why we can apply it for our computer mice. That we could just focus on an area of our screen, but I am not certain how we would be able to click on a window (perhaps blinking in a certain way). This type of technology could also come in handy on cellular phones, and I can't help but wonder if the technology would get so good that eye-trackers would know how to focus as our eyes naturally focus. After all, eye-tracking has got this far, it might as well take the next logical steps.