The Eye Tribe’s Strategy Is Larger Than Their $99 Eye Tracking Hardware Unit

The Eye Tribe Tracker is an aftermarket eye tracker currently available for Windows-based tablets and computers and serves many functions from gaming to reading. Built to work with any Windows 7 or 8 device with a USB 3 interface, The Eye Tribe Tracker allows users to navigate, interact and actuate software running on the device, purely by tracking eye movement or by a combination of eye tracking and touch. The first iteration of this device comes with a Windows SDK so developers can begin to learn how to code Windows apps that use the device. Android and iOS versions of the kit are planned to follow in early 2014.

We first told you about this inexpensive eye tracking device about a week ago when they opened up pre-ordering for the Surface Pro version on September 6th. However, I had a chance to speak with company partner Sebastian Sztuk — an engineer by trade and maker of most of the company’s prototypes — at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013. He showed me a pretty cool demo and let me know that the company’s strategy is actually larger than the external unit we tested.

If this external Tracker — which is mainly focused on developers  — is Horizon 1 for their company strategy, Horizon 2 is consumer focused and has sights set on direct hardware integration. In fact, the company is in negotiations to come out with their own tablet with built in eye-tracking software and hardware and then ultimately a spec so any hardware maker can integrate.

A prototype of that vision is shown below (created for Android OS and running on an existing Samsung tablet).

I’ll admit, just thinking about using The Eye Tribe Tracker brings thoughts of eye strain to mind. However in speaking with Sebastian, he declared that after a brief, one time calibration, their technology is really just tracking the things your eyes are already doing anyway as you interact with the tablet. So I guess there’s not much to dislike here.

The concept was obviously compelling to some other people at Disrupt because the company took home the Big Data Startup of the Year awarded by SAP, worth over $40,000 is goods and services from the software giant.