Stockholm-based Tobii is 22 years old and now the world leader in eye tracking, and its name popped up more than usual after helping Sony with eye tracking in the PlayStation VR2. That’s why we at Gamereactor contacted gaming expert Thomas Papa to find out more about how collaboration is happening and how they see the gaming world in general in 2023.
Gamereactor: Tell us about you and Tobii.
dad: My name is Thomas Papa, a gaming expert here at Tobii, which was founded in 2001, and I’m interested in implementation in many games and how our technology can improve and improve your gaming experience. We currently have 600 employees in 13 locations around the world and currently have the world’s largest patent library in our field with over 750 international patents related to eye tracking. We offer our technology to a variety of industries such as research, education, healthcare, automotive, and gaming. The Games division here at Tobii is the smallest of our various divisions and currently consists of 25 employees, but our products are currently supported by over 170 games and since 2014 this part of our business has grown every year.
What do you think is the most important thing about the type of eye tracking you are developing?
Immersion immersion is key to everything here and I think there are many games today where our technology can make you part of the game itself or the game world in a way that is hard to describe before you actually experience it. Our technology allows a game to learn about you as a player in many ways, and of course, being able to control the game’s camera with your eye movements or head movements, for example, can make a huge difference in immersion.
We tested The Division 2 with Tobii Eye Tracking and it works really well.
exactly. In this game we have support for a feature called “Cover at Gaze” which means the player hides behind an object they are looking at and while it may seem imprecise and random, quite the opposite is true. It simplifies and makes gameplay more intuitive and improves immersion. For example, in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla we have a system where you can loot chests by looking at them, which players really appreciate. In F1 22 we have a system that makes the game’s UI invisible to improve immersion and realism in the game, but visible when you look elsewhere. In Star Citizen, we have a system where you can choose your targets in space battles based on where you’re looking and so on.
How about the world of racing, racing and flying sims?
We have a presence and strength there too and are currently looking to expand and improve our support for various racing titles including Assetto Corsa. We’re currently working with the Alpine Esports team to give their drivers better ways to position their car before every corner and a scoring tool that allows esports coaches to use eye tracking to see if their drivers are looking for the right stuff during actual event driving. What we’ve noticed is that experienced professional drivers look to the top and certain signs or visual cues to confirm what they’ve already discovered or know, while uninitiated drivers use the same kind of information to make certain certain decisions. Both of these target groups can of course benefit greatly from Tubi’s technology.
Hier bei Gamereactor haben wir eure Fortschritte in diesem Subgenre verfolgt und da wir einen speziellen Sim-Racing-Raum mit einem Motion-Rig in voller Größe haben, möchten wir Headtracking ausprobieren, um die Bewegungen unseres Rigs besser mit der Grafik im Spiel in Einklang zu bring.
Sure, it’s also one of those details that I think can improve realism and immersion, and of course we’ll help you with that.
When it comes to PS VR2, your technology really matters to how good the headset is and how great the rendering works. What happened when Sony asked you to be part of the PS VR2 production?
As I mentioned, we have 13 offices in different parts of the world, one of which is in Japan, and that’s where Sony got to that location early in the PS VR2 process and we’re really excited to be a part of what that product is.
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