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Laptop tracks gaze, taking eye-tracking out of lab

Mar 2, 2011 8:31:00 AM - thestate.com
Ever wish your eyes were lasers? A laptop prototype brings that wish closer to reality.

It tracks your gaze and figures out where you're looking on the screen. That means, among other things, that you can play a game where you burn up incoming asteroids with a laser that hits where you look.

In another demonstration this week, the computer scrolled a text on the screen in response to eye movements, sensing when the reader reached the end of the visible text.

In the future, a laptop like this could make the mouse cursor appear where you're looking, or make a game character maintain eye contact with you, according to Tobii Technology Inc., the Swedish firm that's behind the tracking technology.

The eye tracker works by shining two invisible infrared lights at you. Two hidden cameras then look for the "glints" off your eyeballs and reflections from each retina. It needs to be calibrated for each person. It works for people with or without eyeglasses.