Just when we thought windows couldn’t get any better, it does. Microsoft has developed a new eye control feature for the newly launched Windows 11, and some of the full creators updated windows 10. Earlier, Eye-tracking made PC gaming more captivating. Now Microsoft has taken up the job to bring to our laptops. Let’s take a better look into what it is and how to use Eye Control Feature in Windows.
What Is Windows Eye Control Feature?
Introduced to the world in august 2017 in the Microsoft hack-a-thon and now is moments away from a full software release. Built specially for people with special needs, the Eye Control feature allows you to control your mouse and keyboard with just your eyes. It is an ease of access feature that Microsoft has been working on with many eye-tracking hardware manufacturers. Eye control which is still in its beta testing stage of development, allows you to move around your desktop with your eye movements.
While bringing this feature, Microsoft has collaborated with Tobii and EyeTech, leading eye tracker companies usually known for their eye-tracker, which are used in gaming consoles and PCs.
Below Given are a few devices that support the feature at the moment:
- Tobii Eye Tracker 4
- Tobii EyeX
- Tobii Dynavox PCEye Plus
- Tobii Dynavox EyeMobile Mini
- Tobii Dynavox EyeMobile Plus
- Tobii Dynavox PCEye Mini
- Tobii Dynavox PCEye Explore
- Tobii Dynavox I-Series+
- EyeTech TM5 Mini
How To Use The Eye Control Feature In Windows 11/10?
For Windows 10 and 11, you need to set up Tobii and EyeTech eye trackers, and their eye-tracking software or the app gets things set up and calibrated.
Setting Up Eye Tracker Feature In Windows 10
To enable eye control, go to Settings > Ease of Access > Eye control, turning on the toggle. After that, a Control Bar will appear, which will allow us to interact with the PC with our eyes.
- The far-left feature moves the bar from the top of the screen to the bottom or vice versa.
- The keyboard features allow you to type in with your eyes
- Next to it is the text to speech feature, which will enable us to type in a sentence and have the narrator narrate it to us.
- And the last feature is the mouse which is the onscreen cursor that, once activated, will help you to look around and interact with the things on the screen.
Setting Up Eye Tracker Feature In Windows 11
For enabling the eye control, go to Settings > Accessibility > Eye Control > Toggle on.
Unlike Windows 10, Windows 11 has a different bar that looks something like this.
To access any of these features, you need to Dwell on it for some time to activate it, and Microsoft is calling it the Dwelling.
You can pause the eye control by activating the Pause eye control feature when you are watching a movie or a video and don’t want your eye movement to interfere.
Using The Mouse In Eye Control
- First, Dwell to look at the Precise mouse button on the bar.
- Then look at the screen where you want the mouse cursor.
- Once the cursor is at the right place, you can then select the mouse actions.
- You can do the same in reverse to select the options from the right or left-click.
- When you look off the screen, the action is canceled.
Using Keyboard In Eye control
- Dwell on the keyboard button on the bar.
- Launch the software keyboard when using it.
- Dwell on the characters you want to type
Eye control also supports shape writing, just like windows phone and tablets on full creators update. You only have to glance at the letters to type the words.
For right now, Eye control only supports the US English keyboard layout. We hope to see many more languages as the feature goes from a beta to an entire release.
Using Text-to-speech In Eye control
The keyboard also supports the text to speech feature; if you wish to read what is written on the screen, you can use the text to speech button on the bar.
- Dwell on the Text-to-speech button on the bar.
- Use the keyboard to type sentences and select the Play button to have them read out loud.
- Change them anytime you by dwelling on them.
To get started with the text-to-speech feature, you must configure your Speech settings, especially the voice.
Go to Start > Settings > Time & language > Speech and choose a voice from the menu under Text-to-speech.
- The eye tracker is getting confused by some shadows and reflection, considering it is the beta stage. We hope it gets better.
- The eye tracker is working differently with different eye colors, shapes, and sizes and with ones who wear glasses while working, so sometimes that is a factor too.
- Eye tracker only supports the US English keyboard, so we might have to wait for other languages to arrive.
- Eye trackers are of enormous cost, so we all may or may not be able to afford them.
What Is an Extra Device Needed For Eye Control?
An eye tracker and its software (third party) are required. Microsoft has collaborated with Tobii and EyeTech, so you can buy the trackers and use the feature.
Does Windows 10 Allow Eye Control?
It may or may not support the feature. Eye control is not supported in the earlier windows 10, but if your PC or laptop is up-to-date, then it’s all good. To be sure, you can check the version you have by; Settings > System > About and under Windows specifications, confirm that the version is 1709 or higher. And if it’s 1790 or higher, you are good to go.
Can We Only Use Eye Control For Typing And Moving Things?
No, with Tobii eye trackers, you can also experience top-notch gaming and other exciting things.
I Have Two Screens, And I Am Not Able To Use It On My Other Screen. Why?
The Eye control feature is only made for one screen and cannot support the other screen. If you want, you can have one more eye tracker for the different screens too. But for now, the Tobii eye tracker and the EyeTech eye trackers are compatible with a single screen.
Considering the development and the wide range of accessibility, this feature has raised the bar for every computer software out there. People with special needs take advantage of this feature, but people who have to keep long hours on mouse and keyboard can finally rest themselves and their hands. But then Using our eyes too much may affect our vision or worsen them, so we need to tread carefully.
Measuring up all the pros and cons, it’s safe to say that we all are equally excited about this new feature.