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Meeting with Tobii at GDC

Tobii has been working with PC eye tracking for 16 years, but recently they started integrating this technology into virtual reality.

We attended a demo for a VR headset that had eye tracking built into the unit. This technology has implications for the social aspect of gaming. It could allow you to virtually interact with others in a more natural way. For example, you might be able to see other characters move their eyes and wink in a virtual world along with facial movements like raised eyebrows.

Attached Image: tobii2.jpeg

To demo the eye tracking technology, Tobii setup a demo where the player could pick up an item by looking at it and pushing a button on the controller. During the demo we were able to pick items up out of the air by just looking at them. We could then throw the object to a specific location in the world by looking at it, which helps demonstrate the accuracy of the eye tracking system. It enhances the experience and there are fewer body movements required.

The software tracks everywhere the eyes look, meaning developers can visualize the tracking results and use that information to tune gameplay.

Attached Image: tobii4.jpeg

Tobii is planning an announcement later this year on their new technology for developers, as they prepare to scale their units to be commercially available.

Closing remark: Eye tracking is to VR what touch was to Mobile.

Attached Image: tobii3.jpeg

Back to Game Developers Conference 2017


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