In a bid to improve the accessibility of Windows 10, Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled details on how it would let you control its operating system with your eyes.
The company introduced a beta version of eye control into Windows 10, which includes a launchpad that lets you choose between mouse, keyboard and text-to-speech options. Windows 10 will support the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C, with future eye-tracking cameras to come.
The move will enable people with limited or no ability to move their arms a chance to more easily use Windows 10. It’s part of a broader push by Microsoft, and the larger tech community, to make products accessible to more people.
Eye Control is aimed at “empowering people with disabilities to operate an on-screen mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech experience using only their eyes,” Microsoft said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Users require eye tracking hardware by Tobii in order to try out the feature.
When Eye Control is launched a box appears allowing a user to choose to control the mouse, keyboard or text-to-speech feature with their eyes.
When the mouse function is selected, a user has to look at what they want to click on then select, again with their eyes, what action they want to take such as a left click or right click.
Typing works in a similar way. Users need to look at letters that they want to type. But Microsoft is also trialing a feature called “shape-writing” to help people type faster with their eyes.
“You can form words by dwelling at the first and last character of the word, and simply glancing at letters in between. A hint of the word predicted will appear on the last key of the word,” Microsoft explained.
The feature is currently in the beta testing stage for the so-called Windows 10 Insider Preview Build, which is available for select users.