Microsoft Will Feature Eye-Tracking Software on Windows 10

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new initiative to make its products more accessible to those living with disabilities. The tech-giant is currently testing a new eye-tracking software which will be integrated into Windows 10.

The feature, simply called “Eye Control,” will utilize Tobii’s Eye Tracker 4C technology, allowing users to interact with their devices through eye movements.

Eye Control began in 2014 at Microsoft’s One Week Hackathon, an event where employees are encouraged to pursue passion projects and innovative ideas. There, former NFL player Steve Gleason, who lives with ALS, challenged software engineers to craft technology that addresses constraints he faces as someone living with a physical disability. Gleason wanted to play with his son and communicate with his wife more easily — everyday activities made difficult by his condition and gaps in disability-friendly technology.

According to iMotions, current low-end laptop compatible eye-trackers can cost between $100 to $1,000, while high-end trackers reach upwards of $10,000. Eye Control, on the other hand, will be available across all devices as part of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. The software will allow users with disabilities to operate an on-screen mouse, keyboard and text-to-speech features using only their eyes

“Bringing Eye Control to Windows 10 will empower people using just their eyes to utilize Windows features.” Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s chief accessibility officer, told The Mighty “We are incredibly grateful for the partnership with the ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and MND (motor neuron disease) communities for their active engagement and feedback throughout the development cycle. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration to further develop these features in future releases as we continue on our mission to empower people to achieve more.”

Eye Control is currently in beta. Those interested in early testing and feedback can sign up to be a Windows Insider.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Disability

What You Need to Know About That Clip of Trump 'Ignoring' a Boy in a Wheelchair

There’s more you need to know about that clip of President Donald Trump ‘ignoring’ that boy in the wheelchair. if(typeof(jQuery)=="function"){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)}; jwplayer('jwplayer_kwSXHAS5_F962XJnx_div').setup( {"playlist":"https:\/\/\/feeds\/kwSXHAS5.json","ph":2} ); Read the full version of What You Need to Know About That Clip of Trump ‘Ignoring’ a Boy in a Wheelchair. Read the full transcript: What You Need to Know About That Clip [...]
Disability form with glasses and ballpoint pen.

The Reality of Needing to Be on Disability

I’ve been debating whether to risk writing about this for about two months. It feels incredibly, personally risky. Judgment can be so fierce when it comes to this topic. Disability. Financial disability support from the government. I live in Canada, and see some similarities and some vast differences in how permanent disability works in different [...]
Tweet from JK Rowling which reads "to that boy or his family, I apologise unreservedly. These tweets will remain, but I will delete the previous ones on the subject."

J.K. Rowling Apologizes for Tweet About Trump 'Ignoring' a Young Boy With a Disability

J.K. Rowling apologized on Monday for a tweet she shared late last week of President Trump seemingly ignoring a young boy in a wheelchair. “‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them.’ – Maya Angelou,” Rowling tweeted with the clip, which has since been removed. The author continued with a series of heated tweets, [...]
Rose the emotional support dog.

The Differences Between Emotional Support Animals and Service Dogs

With the increasing use of, and attention directed towards, emotional support animals on the internet and social media, there has never been a greater need to lay out the difference between emotional support dogs and service dogs. This article serves to help explain what separates the two and where we should go from here. Emotional [...]