AN INTERVIEW WITH TOBII TECH
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee and Cornelia Askvall, Community Manager at Tobii Tech on June 29, 2017
An eye tracker we can use for gaming? Where do I sign up?! But what is it and how does it help me experience games even better?
We, here at DumeeGamer.com thought it was time to ask the people at Tobii Tech, creators of, among other things, the Eye Tracker 4C, a few questions and discover what this technology is all about.
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. I heard about your eye tracker and I'm intrigued. What is it exactly?
Of course, thank you for your interest! The Eye Tracker is a sensor technology that enables a device to know exactly where your eyes are looking. Eye Tracking means that your device understands you, what object you are paying attention to, what information you have processed. The tech is available both as a peripheral that you can mount on your monitor or laptop or integrated in other hardware such as the Alienware 17, Acer Predator monitor, Acer vNitro, MSI GT72 and more.
What are the benefits of having this tracker?
Eye Tracking is used as an additional modality that adds to the game experience without taking anything away or restricting the gamer in any way. It complements keyboard/mouse/gamepad to enhance the gaming experience and increases the connection between the gamer and game. There are many different features of eye tracking in different games, one of the most common ones are the possibility to rotate the in-game camera with your gaze. It can also be used to increase immersion in game by hiding the UI elements when not in focus, or letting your aim wherever you are looking and much more.
It sounds very sci-fi. How does it work?
It's not as futuristic as it sounds, in fact, it's quite here and now and being adopted in the PC gaming world really well. How it works however, has been developed over many years. The Eye Tracker consists of projectors, sensors and algorithms. The projectors create a pattern by projecting near-infrared light on the eyes. The sensors take high-frame-rate images of user's eyes and the patterns are created. The Algorithms find specific details of the user's eyes and reflection patterns which results in the eye tracker being able to understand where on the screen you are looking.
Here is a video on how to get started with the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C
When I use the eye tracker, do I still need a keyboard and mouse or controller to play the game?
Yes, the eye tracker is meant to be use as an additional input device on top of the keyboard and mouse or controller.
Is the eye tracker available for use with both PC and consoles?
Eye tracking is today only available for PC gaming. But we do work in other markets such as VR, Mobile, tablet, automotive. This video shows how Eye Tracking works in in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Are you planning on hosting demo sessions, perhaps at events, at which gamers can try your tracker? Or have you already had demo sessions and what were the reactions of the public?
We are present at many gaming related events, just last week we were at E3! It is really cool to see new users try out Eye Tracking for the first time and see how excited they get. We usually get comments about its ease of use and great addition to the game. If you weren't able to check out eye tracking at E3 we have a lot of great videos that shows how it works on our Youtube Channel Tobii Gaming. Upcoming events include Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show, and many others together with our partners.
How many games are compatible with the eye tracker?
Right now there are over 75 games, including upcoming games Agents of Mayhem, Assassin's Creed Origins and For Honor.
Do you play videogames yourself?
I do, I have played video games since I was a little kid and my dad used to babysit me. We played together on Playstation 1, mostly him playing and me backseat gaming as I was about 8 years old. I think the first game I really got into was the first Tomb Raider game.
As of right now, I still play - and way too much. When I got interviewed for my position at Tobii I was asked how many hours a day I usually play games and answered maybe 4-5, haha. Little did I know that Tobii is always looking for gamers to join their ranks.
If you had to put together a top 3 favorite games, what titles would it contain?
It's so hard to choose! My top 3 favorite games as of right now are: Skyrim, Undertale and The Witcher 3. I'm also really looking forward to Agents of Mayhem, it looks like a lot of fun!
Lastly, a very special question we ask all people we interview: What are your thought on Garden Gnomes?
I think they are pretty creepy, I've seen way too many horror movies with evil dolls and such!
We would like to thank Cornelia Askvall, Community Manager at Tobii Tech for taking the time out of their busy schedule to answer our questions. If you would like to know more about Tobii and their Eye Tracker, why not one of the links, provided below?