Eye tracking and control specialist company Tobii Techology has dismissed the idea of using joypads, joysticks or flailing your arms around like a whirligig in order to play games; it sees the future of gaming controls being focused around your mince pies (eyes, for those not conversant in the Cockney tongue).
The organisation, which also develops technologies to aid communication for those with special needs, has created a one-off arcade machine that's entirely controllable using a player's peepers. EyeAsteroids is similar to the classic arcade unit from 1979, but with no physical control mechanism.
As asteroids move towards an on-screen Earth, threatening an ELE (an Extinction-Level Event), the player can fire lasers to blow them up by simply looking in each 'roid's direction. And, as hands are removed form the equation, Tobii boasts that response time is much improved. The speed eyes can move to each target is far quicker than the movement of a joystick, trackball or press of a button.
"We believe the addition of eye control to computer games is the most significant evolution point in the gaming industry since the introduction of motion control systems, such as the Nintendo Wii," said Henrik Eskilsson, chief executive officer of Tobii Technology. "Gaze interaction is fast and intuitive, adding an entirely new dimension to video game interaction."
The Tobii EyeAsteroids prototype arcade machine will be touring the world starting in New York's Times Square from 8 November, and then coming to London later in the month. It will also be part of Tobii Technology's booth at CES in Las Vegas in January next year.
Pocket-lint will be going hands-on (eyes-on) with the machine soon.
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