Microsoft Build Developer Conference Brings Exciting News for Eye Tracking Technology

Microsoft Build Developer Conference Brings Exciting News for Eye Tracking Technology

Yesterday, during Microsoft Corp.’s annual Build Developer Conference in Seattle, Microsoft published an important blog entry about how, in collaboration with companies like Tobii, it is working to offer new tools and technologies that improve eye tracking experiences for end users and enable developers to easily incorporate eye tracking into all kinds of software applications, from apps that make Windows 10 more accessible, to extraordinary and immersive gaming experiences.

For Tobii, the most important part of yesterday’s announcement is that Microsoft has launched a powerful set of Windows Eye Tracking APIs for developers that will make it easier and quicker than ever before to integrate eye tracking features into Windows 10 applications. These are the same powerful APIs that Microsoft used to build its own Eye Control application that launched last year as a preview version in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

In addition to Microsoft’s new APIs, last week Tobii announced that it was the submitting organization for a newly approved USB HID standard. The new standard serves to establish eye tracking as a mature control input for consumer electronics and sets specific parameters for eye tracking devices so that developers and end users gain confidence that compliant eye tracking technology will deliver an inherently stable and consistent experience.

A developer and consumer-ready technology

Taken together, the new USB HID standard for eye tracking and the new powerful APIs that Microsoft announced yesterday represent key milestones for eye tracking as both a developer-friendly and consumer-ready area of technology. It is now easier than ever to rapidly integrate eye tracking into Windows applications!

We hope that the new standard and APIs serve as compelling reminders for developers to seriously consider the extraordinary benefits and capabilities that eye tracking can add to just about any kind of software application, from increased accessibility, to intuitive interactions and more immersive experiences.


Eye tracking applications

Over the last several years, Tobii has seen a rich ecosystem of innovative software applications take shape around our integrated and peripheral eye tracking product offerings. From applications that safeguard patients during robotic surgery, to diagnosing and recommending treatment for autism, to blasting fire magic at enemies in online games. Other examples include:

  • RightEye: Late last year, Tobii partner RightEye announced an extraordinary diagnostic solution that is being used by doctors and coaches to provide a better way to see how people’s eyes and brains are working together. From helping athletes improve performance via vision training, to identifying indicators of concussion, or even Parkinson’s — RightEye is helping people in new and innovative ways.
  • Team Liquid: One of the most successful organizations in esports recently launched a new training facility and explained how they use eye tracking as a key training tool to improve competitive play.
  • Over the last five years more than 120 PC games have added eye tracking support for a wide variety of interactive and immersive use cases, including blockbuster titles such as Far Cry 5.

The above examples are just a few of the amazing ways that developers are using eye tracking to deliver new and innovative experiences, and benefits, to consumers. Now, new Windows APIs and established industry standards are primed to inspire a fresh wave of developers to see what new possibilities eye tracking can unlock for users! We can’t wait to see what comes next!

Tobii goes to Microsoft Build 2018

Today is the last day of Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference that takes place from May 7 to May 9. Over the last few days, representatives at Tobii’s booth have been able to speak with attendees about the exciting developments happening with eye tracking and why now is such a good time to start thinking about integrating interactive gaze support into Windows applications.

At Microsoft’s booth, a variety of Tobii’s integrated and peripheral eye tracking products are on display showcasing a wide range of accessibility and immersive gaming applications, including Tobii Dynavox’s powerful Snap + Core First software — a symbol-based communication app to help a broad range of people communicate more easily.

At the Tobii booth, we are showing off an even broader set of eye tracking demos and talking about all the ways that Tobii and Microsoft are collaborating to empower developers with eye tracking technologies and tools to provide users with new ways to communicate, work, and play! If you are at Build, come say hello in booth S12.

Finally, Tobii has an extensive set of resources, forums, and tools for developers interested in learning more about Eye Tracking integration. Check out our developer zone for all the insights.


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Ben Conrad

Written by

Ben Conrad

Hi, I am the VP of global corporate communications at Tobii Group, which means I get to help shape and tell the story of Tobii and our technologies to the world. Personally, I feel incredibly fortunate to play a small role in helping others understand the power of technologies like eye tracking to improve people’s lives and drive innovation across industries.