Tobii and Microsoft are developing a new USB HID eye tracking standard

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read
tobii microsoft eye tracking

Tobii is an expert in eye tracking technology. The company announced its partnership with Microsoft, Intel, and EyeTech DS to create a new USB Human Interface Device (HID) standard. The news is not only great for the companies but also for the entire eye tracking industry, developers and users as well.

Benefits and functionality of USB HID standard

This is a giant step in making eye tracking a standard control tech for consumer electronics and for enabling the adoption of the technology across a wider range of applications and devices.

The eye tracking technology finally enters the area of keyboards, mice, digitizers, touchpads, and more devices.

HID is a generic protocol that can make communication between a device and a host easier in a computer system. When a compliant device is attached to a computer, the OS will query the device for “what capabilities (called HID usages) it can support and maps those capabilities (functions) to operating system functions — or advertises those capabilities to applications running on the system,” as Tobii notes in its official announcement.

The standard will also define a minimum quality bar for eye trackers besides standardizing the technical data fields.

Another significant benefit of this partnership is that it will provide an “in-box driver” that works for eye trackers no matter who the manufacturer of the device is.

USB HID standard’s importance for the industry

The standard triggers benefits at a higher scale as well, and you can see below the most significant ones:

  • Increasing adoption of the eye-tracking technology and massive value that it delivers for devices
  • More opportunities for deeper integration with Oss via established interfaces
  • Developers will see more returns from their investments in adding the tech into their software
  • Device manufacturers can integrate the technology with confidence that there will be a rich eco-system of content available that will make use of it
  • Consumers will enjoy a robust plug-and-play experience across various apps and devices

You can read Tobii’s complete notes on the official website.

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