Technology for eye-controlled phones and tablets
The Danish entrepreneur company The Eye Tribe is leading a project that will make eye-controlled phones and tablets available to consumers. Eye Tracking will make it easier, faster and more natural to use mobile devices, and several experts believe that eye control will revolutionise the use of smartphones. With the help of 1st Mile The Eye Tribe compiled and filed an application for project funding to the Advanced Technology Foundation, and a strong partnership was established. This resulted in a grant of DKK 13 million for a three-year project with a total budget of DKK 25 million.
The EyeTribe is a young company with a unique technology eye tracking technology. When the technology is fully developed, it will make it possible to operate e.g. smartphones and tablets using the eyes, so users of these devices will be able to write text messages, browse the Internet, log on to their online banking or playing games – all simply by using eye movements. The technology still need some refinement to meet the requirements of the Eye Tribe for its performance, so there is still a lot of development work and a lot of tests to be performed before the technology is ready to be built into consumer products. But the team is well on its way. The Eye Tribe is leading the project, and the other project partners are Lego, Serious Games, the IT University and Technical University of Denmark.
In August 2012 The EyeTribe received an investment of approx. DKK 5 million from private investors, but according to CEO Sune Alstrup Johansen the support from the Advanced Technology Foundation will give the start-up company it is vital boost.
-We have a groundbreaking technology that eventually could become the standard for mobile phones. The potential is huge and we now have a unique starting point. The support from the Advanced Technology Foundation will help us develop and maintain our position in the market.
Sune Alstrup Johansen has just returned to Copenhagen after a 3 month stay in Silicon Valley, where the interest in the eye tracking technology is great from the world's leading IT and Mobile manufacturers. The Eye Tribe has a sales office In Palo Alto, California, but the 10 core developers are placed in Nokia's old headquarters in Copenhagen. The goal to expand to 30 employees over the next few years.
– It is better for us to build a strong development team here in Copenhagen, where we are close to research groups from the IT University and DTU, and surprisingly enough, we can recruit more skilled labor here in Denmark than in Silicon Valley.
“Success when applying for the big funding-amouts for support is very much dependent on insight knowledge of the framework and best practice. 1st Mile is unique, as they have in-depth experience and high success rate with this type of applications. Without the highly professional and intensive effort by 1st Mile I do not think that we would have had an approved project today” Sune Alstrup Johansen, CEO