We swung by the Tobii booth at CES yesterday, and got some updates about when we'll be able to control our computers with nothing but our eyeballs: it's going to be soon, it's going to be slick, and it's just as incredible as we remembered from last year.
Tobii's "REX" developer edition is available now for just under $1,000, but buying one won't do much for you unless you're actually a developer. For the rest of us, we're looking forward to the REX consumer edition, which is what's going to bring gaze interaction to our laptops and desktop computers. Here's what it'll look like:
It's going to be about the same size as the developer edition pictured below, available in two different sizes depending on how big your screen is:
You'll be able to pre-order a consumer edition of Tobii this spring, for fall delivery, although Tobii isn't yet saying how much it'll be.
We asked Tobii how long it was going to take before its tech is everywhere (and we're pretty sure it'll be everywhere in not too long), and we were told that the company expects to bring peripherals to mass market in 2014, and that by 2015, we'll be seeing it directly integrated into laptops and other mobile electronics. Here's a new prototype of what a Tobii sensor might look like inside a laptop:
Not bad, right? But here's the very best news that we heard: Tobii is actively working to make its hardware work on Windows 7, as opposed to requiring Windows 8. Phew!
The only real downside to Tobii is that it's sort of impossible to describe just how amazing it is. You really have to experience it for yourself, or believe us when we tell you that it's one of the most elegant ways to interface with a computer that we've ever seen. Like, when someone asks us what the coolest thing we've seen at the show is, Tobii is at the top of the list, and we always make sure that we tell everyone to go try it, even though it's a million miles away at the very back of one of the cavernous convention halls.
As soon as the consumer version is ready to go, look for some more in-depth coverage right here.