After the announcement of Eye Control on August 1, 2017, Microsoft released the feature in the latest Windows 10 build 16257, making it available for all Windows Insiders to try out before the final release of Falls Creators Update. It’s a revolutionary feature that makes Windows 10 a lot more accessible by empowering people with disabilities to operate computers with their own eyes.
To make it work, you will need a compatible eye track, like the Tobii Eye Tracker 4c which costs about $150US each. A device like below and the one sitting on the table in front of the computer in the picture above.
Since I don’t have such a device in hand, I can’t really test to see how well it performs. But here is how it works, based on Microsoft’s introduction.
- Own or purchase a compatible eye tracker, like Tobii Eye Tracker 4C;
- Download and update to the latest driver and run calibration with your own profile;
- Check Windows Updates;
- Make sure the Tobii eye tracker is connected to your PC and turn on Eye Control by going to Settings > Ease of Access > Other Options > Eye Control.
The Eye Control Launchpad appears on the screen when Eye Control is turned on, allowing you to access the mouse, keyboard, text-to-speech, and to reposition the UI to the opposite side of the screen.
To control the mouse, select the mouse from the Launchpad, position your eyes on the screen where you want the cursor to be placed, fine tune the position, and select what action you want to take (left click, double left click, right click, or cancel).
To use the keyboard, select the keyboard from the launchpad, and dwell at the characters you want to type. So far, only support the EN-US keyboard layout.
To use shape-writing that makes you type faster, turn it on from the keyboard settings on the Fn page. Once it’s on, you can form words by dwelling at the first and last character of the word, and simply glancing at letters in between.
That’s actually pretty impressive.