Today, Microsoft and Tobii announced a new feature that will expand eye control to work across Windows. The company put in almost 4 years of labour to produce this feature wherein the user can direct the power of her or his gaze to control a mouse or a virtual keyboard. And even if the Surface Laptop, its poster boy device, is anything but affordable, the rest of the Windows 10 S fleet now available for purchase could perhaps be described as the new breed of "netbooks", majority powered by Intel Celeron processors and carrying price tags of less than $300, with some exception of course.
Eye Gaze Wheelchair was ultimately awarded the grand prize victor of the 2014 Microsoft hackathon. At the time, the company held a hackathon event where former National Football League player Steve Gleason, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, suggested to make computers more accessible to people like him. And thanks to the promising results obtained by prototyping new eye tracking scenarios, a team of engineers was able to bring eye tracking support to Windows 10. Ability EyeGaze took the first place prize at the hackathon, but it also caught the attention of Microsoft's Windows team.
As part of its back-to-school launch, Microsoft has started selling the first affordable third-party notebooks running its locked-down Windows 10 S.
Eye Control in Windows 10 will require hardware from Tobii, a company that specializes in eye tracking technologies.
"Having Eye Control in Windows 10 continues to bridge the gap between widely used technology and people with disabilities", former National Football League player Steve Gleason says.
Keeping its promise of empowering "every person and organisation to achieve more", Microsoft has added eye-tracking capabilities into the latest insider build of Windows 10.
Microsoft already has accessibility features baked right into the Windows operating system, but they mostly focus on hearing and vision problems. This kind of eye tracking technology could possibly even make its way to smartphones, tablets and other devices in the future. Having Eye Control in Windows 10 continues to bridge the gap between widely used technology and people with disabilities.