MSI announced a new model of its popular gaming laptop PC, the GT72 Dominator, which now features a Tobii EyeX Tracking Sensor, allowing gamers to control the action using their eyes. MSI’s GT72S Tobii appears to be one of the first gaming laptops available with Tobii’s innovative eye-tracking controller.
We first saw Tobii’s EyeX project last year at CES, and at the time the emerging technology was a large and boxy sensor bar that was available only as a developer kit. However, EyeX was demoed using Microsoft Windows and Blizzard Entertainment’s popular MMO game title, World of Warcraft, signifying that the technology had gaming aspirations on a mainstream level.
Tobii recently released a new consumer version of its eye-tracking bar (its 6th generation of the technology) that simplified its less-refined predecessors by reducing the device’s power consumption and increasing its compatibility with more products, priming the technology for mainstream adoption. We first heard of MSI’s intent to integrate the technology into its gaming laptops back in June, and this year at CES that seed bore fruit in the form of the GT72S Tobii, which sports the 5th generation of the eye-tracking sensor.
The eye-tracking sensors of the GT72S Tobii are seemlessly integrated into the hinge of the laptop, and the technology brings a plethora of unique functions to gaming ecosystems. For game-streaming enthusiasts, the GT72S Tobii can track where the streamer is looking so that viewers can see exactly what the host is viewing in real time. In addition, navigation in games can be achieved simply by looking where you want to go. The GT72S Tobii also provides eye tracking and facial recognition for biometric authentication using Windows Hello in Windows 10.
The MSI GT72S Tobii can be configured with all the same high-end components you can select for the current GT72 Dominator lineup, including support for the latest 6th generation (Skylake) Intel Core i7 processors, DDR4 memory, M.2 SSD storage and up to a desktop-class GTX 980 graphics card. Combine these options with the GT72S Tobii’s sleek design and Tobii’s eye-tracking controller, and you have what seems to be a powerful and unique mobile gaming laptop.
Tobii’s EyeX may be nipping at the heels of the latest VR technology as an alternative to bulkier goggle-type solutions for an immersive gaming experience, and its integration into the MSI GT72 Dominator lineup signifies a definitive mainstream adoption of the eye-tracking controller concept.
The GT72S Tobii will be available later this month bundled with Tom Clancy’s The Division, which, along with several other major game titles (including Assassin's Creed: Syndicate), supports the eye-tracking technology on launch. MSI's GT72S Tobii will start at an MSRP of $2499.
Derek Forrest is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Derek Forrest on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.