In an interesting time we live in, ladies and gentlemen. If you think about it, technology that is some twenty years ago seemed like something from science fiction, is now freely sold in any electronics store. Powerful and compact smartphones, smart appliances, voice assistants on the basis of artificial intelligence, virtual reality immerses you in a video game, isn't it exciting? Today I'd like to tell you about one such technology. On the Eye Tracker sensor 4C production company Tobii, which radically changes the way of human interaction with computer and video games.
Founded in 2001, Tobii, a Swedish company, is today one of the leaders in the field of development of devices for tracking gaze. Of the more than 700 employees working in nine countries, over a third working in R&D departments, that is involved in the improvement of existing technologies and the creation of a completely new one. A first sensor for tracking of gaze Tobii ET17 company released to the market in 2002, and after three years went on sale in the computer MyTobii P10, which from beginning to end to control exceptionally eyes. In 2010, came to light glasses tracking gaze Tobii Glasses, and in 2014 – the first device designed for gamers, called . It allows to shift some work with game controllers, mice and keyboards in the opinion of the user.
The Tobii Eye Tracker 4C is a logical evolution of the sensor Tobii EyeX. Acronym 4C the device name is sent to the English word "foresee" which is translated into Russian as "anticipate", or "look forward". Unlike the previous model, the new tracker contains a specifically tailored integrated circuit (ASIC) Tobii EyeChip, tuned exclusively for the track look. The presence of this chip allows you to unload iron computer that is connected to the sensor and to reduce the volume of information transmitted, thereby significantly speeding up the operation of the device. In addition, a new generation of sensor now monitors not only your eyes, but head position in space: it turns, tilts and so on.
Proceed to review the device. Familiarity with Tobii Eye Tracker 4C begins with its unusual oblong packaging. It consists of a wooden box and outer cardboard "sleeves". The design is pretty minimalistic. There are no unnecessary graphic elements and text, except the name of the device and a stylish pattern on a black background.
I Haven't seen such effective use of the interior space of the package. The sensor is protected from external influences durable substrate made of foamed polyurethane. 80-cm cable, carefully folded and hidden in a special slot.
The sensor is as neat and minimalistic as its packaging. I was saddened only by the fact that the cable protruded from the tracker to the right and was very short, whereas my computer is located to the left of the two monitors. As it turned out I need not have worried, because in the box, in addition to the sensor, was hidden a nice bonus.
Inside I found the extra metre USB extension cable. So it's something to shoot the wire from the tracker to the computer was not easy for me.
On the rear surface of the device can detect the serial number (you can consider me superstitious, but I always try to "cover up" this information in the photo in my reviews). Here is the hidden two powerful magnet for attaching the device to the monitor. More detail about this I will tell you next.
On Top of the sensor caused two white lines. They are very important in the setup process, which we will discuss below.
At the bottom of the box I found documents with information on security and formal guarantees, as well as brief instructions for installing the device.
Note the two metal strips. They are designed to clip the sensor to your monitor. On the reverse side they pasted double sided tape. Unstick the paper from the adhesive layer and apply the mount to the bottom of the monitor. After that, it can hang the sensor. To stay on the bar he will be using the above mentioned magnets. What to do with the metal mount, if you suddenly changed the monitor manufacturer did not specify. Most likely, you will have to peel it from the plastic and figure out how to update already rather dried adhesive layer. I can think of only one idea: to use more double-sided tape. Even though this idea sounds not very fun. Metal fittings are convenient and easy to use, but with a Scotch manufacturer as it was.
Fixed on the monitor, the sensor looks like this. Something he reminded me of the Kinect sensor, developed by engineers at Microsoft. Only its dimensions several times smaller than the decision of the Corporation from Redmond. At this point I thought the owners of "frameless" monitors will have a hard time, because you can stick them on a metal holder is not so simple. However, engineering ingenuity will surely allow you to get out of this situation.
Note that the infrared emitters and sensors along the edges and in the middle of the device are clearly visible. No, they glow no longer hurt the eyes, as in the previous model (Tobii EyeX), but from time to time you will somehow pay attention to them. In my photos, the glow turned purple, but in reality it's red. The sensor scans your face with a frequency of 90 times per second, so human eye does not notice the flicker.
After connecting the sensor to the computer the first thing you need to download from the official site the necessary software and driver. By installing the application and launching it for the first time, is to update the firmware of the tracker to the latest version.
Additionally I would recommend to download from the Tobii application Game Hub, allowing to connect the sensor to your game library in Steam and adjust it to fit each individual game. You can still download the app Streaming Gaze Overlay, which is vital if you suddenly want to stream their games and show the audience where at the moment looking your look. On the screen will appear semitransparent circle in the place where you look. I like this thing was unnecessarily, so I installed only the first app and started to configure the device.
Because on my Desk are two monitors, the installer politely asked which one I would like to use in conjunction with the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C? I chose the right as it acts as the main working display. The second monitor I use to embed its screen to various instant messengers, text notes and other miscellaneous information.
It's time to configure the device. Remember, some time ago I noted that the upper surface of the sensor caused two white lines? Risucci is needed in order that the system knew exactly how you glued the sensor to the monitor. Just drag and drop the two lines on the screen horizontally and align them with the marks on your tracker. It's simple as ABC.
Then began the short calibration. Its screenshots I do not have time, but in your own words, describe the process can quite. First the black screen, there are two white circle is your eyes. The system asks you to shake his head to assess how much you can deviate from the vertical position and not fall out of camera view. Then in different places of the screen you are shown a blue dots, and you blow them with his eyes. So the system learns your eyes and their features, understanding how you look on the screen. I don't wear glasses, but I suppose that those who uses glasses, no problems should arise. Following the calibration, the program creates your profile and asks you to give it a name.
And here began the most interesting. You are transported into the cockpit of a spaceship and shoot asteroids flying at you. For aiming you use only your eyes, and use the "Gap" shot out of a cannon. The habit I came away from it all in complete delight. Tobii Eye Tracker 4C understood perfectly, exactly where I look, and almost never wrong. The error was extremely small, literally 3-5 mm, scale 24-inch screen – a mere trifle.
After I had enough to shoot from space gun, setup offered me a quick tour of the capabilities of the device. For example, using Tobii Eye Tracker 4C can unlock Windows account 10. The sensor recognizes the face of its master, so no passwords or PIN codes need not be introduced. Love it this is literally two or three clicks, and is called Windows Hello.
Also, the manufacturer claims that the image on the screen may vary depending on what scope you're looking at. As an example, offer you to look at the sun in the upper area of the screen. As soon as you look at it, the image becomes incredibly vivid like the Sun blinding you. Very cool effect, which gives the realism of the situation. And that's without any of the VR helmets, I want to see!
One of the most common applications of the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C in video games is the ability to rotate the camera in the direction the player looks. Your opinion is approaching the edge of the screen, and the game camera just slightly shifted after him. Kind of like a trifle, but a trifle that perfectly complements the gameplay and makes your immersion into the game better.
Interactive tour explains that using the sensor you can also control multimedia functions of your operating system.
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