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The Eye Tribe launches eye control technology for Android, developer SDK to arrive in June

Danish company The Eye Tribe has launched its eye control technology today, which lets developers explore the possibility of eye-activated logins, gaze-based controls and engagement research, among other applications.
April 17, 2013

Danish eye-tracking software firm The Eye Tribe has announced the launch of its eye control technology for Android smartphones and tablets. The company made the announcement today during the DEMO Mobile 2013 event, also noting that its developer SDK would be available in June. However, sign-ups have started today, and the technology looks promising.

The startup, founded by former PhD students from the IT University of Copenhagen, says that its eye control technology can be used in a variety of ways, including eye-activated logins, which should make things even more secure than most login technologies. The Eye Tribe CEO and co-founder Sune Alstrup Johansen mentioned that the technology’s accuracy is equal to a fingerprint due to its sub-millimeter pupil tracking.

Eye-control technology is not exactly new, given that companies like Samsung do employ some form of eye-tracking in their latest flagship devices. However, The Eye Tribe wants to help developers build new applications and uses for eye-tracking, which can include the aforementioned user login and gaze-bazed controls. App developers can even use eye tracking to determine engagement, which can come in useful when researching which apps or designs get the most attention of users.

The technology is not compatible with all Android devices, though, due to some hardware requirements. However, The Eye Tribe says the required additions will only cost an additional $1 for manufacturers, which means it should not be very difficult for smartphone and tablet makers to introduce eye-tracking technology in their devices.

The Eye Tribe earlier received $800,000 in seed funding from a plethora of European investors. The Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation also provided the software firm with a $2.3 million grant for a three-year project, and it will not take an equity stake in any of the partnering companies “in the name of job creation and innovation in Denmark.”