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These four “Eyes First” Windows games could do to follow what Solitaire did for the PC mouse

Microsoft Research has released four “Eyes First” games designed to help make eye tracking a mainstream technology for Windows 10 users.

The Eyes first games—Tile Slide, Match Two, Double Up, and Maze — aren’t much in terms of actual games, as they’re just twists and turns on existing apps. The difference, however, is that they can be played with eye tracking, using gear from Tobii and others that track your gaze as you look at the screen. You will obviously need an eye tracker, but also a PC running Windows 10 April 2018 update or newer.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s Eyes First games.

PCWorld has been following eye tracking since 2016, when Tobii’s eye tracking hardware was originally billed as a kind of “eye mouse,” and later as technology to enhance PC gameplay. In 2017, Microsoft began incorporating eye tracking into Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update as an assistive technology for those who physically couldn’t use the mouse. Meanwhile, eye tracking has started to be present in laptops as well as virtual reality headsets.

In Windows, Microsoft’s eye tracking is known as Windows 10 Eye Control, and developers can take advantage of the Windows 10 Gaze Interaction Library to develop games that use eye tracking as a control mechanism.

Microsoft originally designed its addictive Solitary game to help Windows users familiarize themselves with a mouse. Later, Minesweeper played a similar role. Eyes First uses the same playbook. “Playing these games is a great way to get familiar with the use of eye control, to learn the skills to apply to other assistive technologies allowing the gaze and just having fun,” notes the Eyes page. First.

It’s not clear whether eye tracking will benefit from the same ubiquity as a mouse, or even the relatively high penetration of touch screens. But whether it’s assistive technology or just another way to interact with your PC, Microsoft is clearly interested in developing the technology further.


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