A beta for Eye Control is being rolled out to Windows Insiders for testing as new Windows 10 function that allows users to replace mouse and keyboard with eye movements.
Windows Insiders will get the first look at Eye Control, a productivity program that lets users dictate traditional keyboard and mouse movements and actions through new eye tracking technology. Eye Control is currently being released as a beta and will be integrated into Windows 10 as part of a future update. The primary goal of the program is to give users with disabilities that affect their use of computers the ability to scroll, click, and type.
Eye Control utilizes compatible eye trackers such as the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C to translate the movements of a user’s eyes into movements of the mouse on the screen and typing on the keyboard. Right now Eye Control will support the EN-US keyboard configuration but will add more keyboard layouts after beta testing in the future.
There are multiple parts to Eye Control, and all of them are responsive to the user's movements, particularly what the user is looking at:
The launchpad will appear on the screen when Eye Control is engaged. From here, you can access the mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech functions as well as move the UI anywhere on the screen.
To move the mouse pointer, select the mouse icon from the launchpad by positioning your eyes on it and then look where on the screen you want the cursor to be placed. You can fine tune where the cursor appears by moving your eyes to the precise spot you desire, and select the action you want to execute (the choices are left click, double left click, right click, or cancel).
To access the keyboard, select the keyboard icon from the launchpad in the same fashion as you would the mouse. Once the keyboard is on screen, look directly at the character you want to type individually and stare at it for a second or two until it is selected; proceed to continue typing in this fashion. Suggestions for words you may be trying to type will appear above the keyboard and can be selected similarly for faster typing. You can also type numbers and symbols by selecting the “&123” key and functions by selecting the “Fn” key. The EN-US keyboard layout is currently the only support keyboard option at present, but more will become available over time.
Shape-writing with the Eye Control keyboard allows you to type faster using your eyes. To activate shape-writing, go to the “Fn” page and select it in the keyboard settings. Once on, you can form words by holding your gaze on the first character of the word, glance at the following letters, and then hold once more on the final letter. Suggestions for the word Windows predicts you are trying to form will appear after you have designated the last character in the word. If the word you want to type is among the suggestions, simply look at it and hold for a second to select it.
Communicate with anyone in person by using the text-to-speech function. To use text-to-speech, select the option from the launchpad. Use the keyboard to type out sentences and have them spoken aloud. At the top, you’ll find phrases that are spoken out loud immediately or can be edited by you to say different words and phrases. Text-to-speech uses the default voices, but can be changed under Settings > Time & Language > Speech > Text-to-speech.
Eye Control Settings
You can access the Eye Control settings from the “Fn” page via the keyboard to adjust the gaze times (how long you stare at a button to select it), turn shape-writing on or off, and turn the gaze hardware calibration cursor on or off.
For questions on Eye Control and Windows 10, be sure to contact us!