As far as novel input peripherals go, Tobii’s gaze-tracking addition to the keyboard and mouse standard is a fairly interesting one. And now, it can control Microsoft’s latest OS.
First seen, literally, at CES 2012, the Tobii Rex is a decently-sized stick-like peripheral that attaches beneath your typical PC monitor and connects via USB port. Working in conjunction with the company’s proprietary ‘Gaze’ interface, the Rex for all intents and purposes lets the user perform tasks (such as scrolling) and navigate around the Windows 8 environment using solely their eyes. According to Tobii (and unlike the majority of its competitors who vie to replace them), the Tobii Rex is designed to work alongside the mouse and keyboard in a way that will enhance the user experience, rather than detract from it.
Very few have yet to get truly significant hands-on time with the Rex, and the company is only offering 5,000 units to developers initially (for a cost of $995 no less), but nevertheless the technology is one entirely worth keeping an eye on. Forget touch and put that motion controller down, a release is expected some time in 2013.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.