Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hands-free Fruit Ninja: NUIA makes it easier to code PC apps with eye control (hands-on)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/26/nuia-hands-on-play-fruit-ninja-with-eye-control/

Hands-free Fruit Ninja: NUIA makes it easier to code PC apps with eye control (hands-on)

We know what you think this hands-on is about. That laptop you see up there has a Tobii eye-tracking sensor affixed to it, and you're probably wondering why we're still dwelling on it after getting hands-on twice at CES 2012 and once more at CES 2013. But that's not what we're here to show you today. While wandering the halls of Mobile World Congress, we came across NUIA (Natural User Inter Action), a German company whose software is designed to make it easier for developers to code apps that make use of eye tracking sensors, such as Tobii's. In particular, devs will only have to write one extension, even if they're making use of multiple sensing devices (e.g., eye control and gesture recognition).

That comes in handy for a game like Fruit Ninja, as the required gestures extend beyond the bounds of what Tobii can do by itself. (Tobii lets you do things like zoom in, select objects and scroll, but not swipe flying fruit.) If you venture past the break, you'll see yours truly trying (and occasionally succeeding) at Fruit Ninja, though obviously this game is just one use case (albeit, a very fun one). There's nothing stopping developers from applying this to creative, productivity or even enterprise apps, too. As for availability, well, it's pretty clear the hardware will have to come before the software -- a NUIA spokesperson told us she doesn't expect its kit will be commercial! ly avail able until sensing devices like Tobii become integrated into Windows 8 PCs. And if Tobii is any indication, that might not happen until next year at the earliest.

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