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EyeX Controller: SteelSeries and Tobii Technology team up to take on Kinect with eye-tracking controller

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Gaming peripheral maker SteelSeries and eye-tracking technology specialist Tobii Technology have teamed up to build a device that will let gamers use their eyes to control the game play.

One such peripheral called Tobii EyeX Controller will be showcased at the forthcoming 2014 International CES (CES 2014). A slew of other products will be introduced subsequently in the coming months. The companies plan to ship their first consumer system in summer of 2014.

Stockholm-based Tobii's technology has been mastering science of precision control for almost a decade. By detecting the eyeball in three dimension through a camera-like device, Tobii's technology determines exactly where you are looking on a screen. The company has been using this technique for building control systems for differently-abled people.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with SteelSeries to bring a truly revolutionizing gaming product to market that will be a key milestone for expanding eye tracking into new, exciting, mass consumer markets," said Henrik Eskilsson, CEO of Tobii Technology. "SteelSeries is recognized for premium products and a deep commitment to gaming and game development. Our organizations complement each other in a way that creates optimal conditions for eye tracking to provide amazing new experiences for gamers and to bring about a major evolution in human computing." 

"The integration of eye-tracking into the game experience is literally a game-changer - not only for the gamers themselves but also for developers," said Bruce Hawver, the CEO of SteelSeries. "Eye-tracking capabilities offer game developers a new, creative approach to game development. It becomes a truly immersive experience for players."

Tobii will be releasing its eye-tracking hardware for developers in March. The EyeX developer unit will cost $195, nearly five times cheaper than company's previous developer unit. The company is also expecting to develop the technique for laptop integration making it almost like a webcam by the end of this year.

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