Microsoft unveils eye control feature in its latest Windows 10 Insider preview
Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16257 sports eye control features, including new color schemes, Microsoft Edge improvements, and some changes to the Edge interface. You will need a Tobii enabled device to test the new eye control features
On August 1, Microsoft announced that they would be launching an eye-tracking (beta) feature in the latest installment of Insider Preview. On August 2, Microsoft announced Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16257 for PC, which features Sports, Eye Control. Talk about rubbing salt in my wounds – d’oh! Eye control, of course, requires a Tobii eye tracker that doesn’t come cheap. You’ll find it built into high-end gaming laptops like Alienware 17, Acer vNitro, MSI GT72 and some monitors like Predator XB271HUT, Predator Z271T and many more.
The Eye Control feature primarily focuses on patients with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and neuro-muscular, who have traditionally been unable to control a PC using a mouse and keyboard. Eye Control gestures range from looking to launch apps or using an onscreen keyboard to look at letters and type words. Microsoft said in their blog, “Yesterday, we announced Eye Control, which makes Windows 10 more accessible. The experience requires a compatible eye tracker, such as the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C, which unlocks access to the Windows operating system, which can previously be accomplished with the help of a physical mouse and keyboard. The iControl feature currently only supports EN-US keyboard layouts, but they promise to add more support in the future.
Eye Control has many nifty features like Eye Control Mouse which enables you to control your eyesight, eye control keyboard and mouse pointers using what Microsoft calls “shape writing”. It basically lets you see the first and last letters of a word and type “looking at the middle letters”. Microsoft says that the last key of the word will indicate a hint of the predicted word, and if the prediction is wrong, you can replace it with another predictable option. There is also iControlTTS which works like iControl keyboard but it reads written sentences and words aloud.
Other updates to existing features include the Edge UI tweak which overhauls the browser’s appearance, updated color console. The latest test build also adds several Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) improvements. You can read more details about the update in the Windows 10 Insider preview here.