Microsoft’s newly announced built-in eye tracking feature for Windows 10 is now available for testers.
It seems the company can’t wait to see the accessibility option out there.
The latest Windows Insider preview build includes support for a beta version of Eye Control, as it’s called, so long as you have the compatible Tobii Eye Tracker 4C.
Initially, Microsoft is supporting only the “US English” language keyboard layout, with plans to add more layouts down the line. It’s still unclear when Eye Control will arrive as a fully baked feature, but it’s clear Microsoft is working on it quickly.
The preview build blog post outlines in more depth how Eye Control actually works, with a breakdown of the new launchpad for accessing the peripheral functions and examples of using the system to type more quickly with your eyes and translate text into speech.
One really interesting feature is what Microsoft is calling “shape writing,” which should speed up typing by letting you look at just the first and last letters of a word and “simply glancing at letters in between.”
Microsoft says a “hint of the word predicted will appear on the last key of the word,” and if the prediction is incorrect, you can swap it out with another predicted alternative.
Right now, Microsoft is only focused on supporting Tobii hardware, with plans to bring the Tobii Dynavox PCEye Mini, PCEyePlus, EyeMobile Plus, and I-series onboard for Eye Control on Windows 10. However, the company says it’s interested in working with other hardware makers should any other eye-tracking vendor express interest.
This is a useful accessibility feature which will allow easy word typing and control.