The aware device

  • by David Henderek
  • 7 min

Tobii Aware

Tobii's Aware software is ushering in a new era of smart devices.

With Tobii Aware, the range of PCs that can benefit from our technology is wide, delivering benefits from privacy, security, digital wellbeing, enhanced device performance, and increased efficiency.

This is a leading step in Tobii’s mission to humanize technology.

AI and attention-sensing software

Smart devices are the future.

It’s not a question of if , but more of when everyday devices will be “smart enabled”. Phones, tablets, TVs, cars, speakers, watches, light bulbs, refrigerators, microwaves… and everything else will be part of the revolution! With the burgeoning progress of the Internet of Things, cloud-based services, and the expansion of digital assistants, the possible applications for attention-sensing software are limitless.

Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home lead the race for the ultimate home assistant while Apple’s Siri and Samsung’s Bixby exist in all our phones and watches. But for PCs, the race to become "aware" has been slower to take off. Perhaps this is because the broad functionality of PCs is what the other smart devices were trying to emulate in the first place.

Making devices smart was about putting computers in everyday “dumb” devices. PCs were already supposed to be the smart devices towards which everything else was growing. For PCs, smart has been prioritized as achieving networked devices and cloud-based computing. But these days in tech (and definitely for the future), that just doesn’t seem to cut the mustard.

These days, smart is humanized interaction. Smart is anticipating our needs. Smart is artificial intuition. Smart is knowing what we are going to do before we get there, and adapting behavior, insights, and interactions to meet the need. The PC industry has been slow to catch up, or to catch on, to the changes. Too costly? Too big of a footprint? Or maybe the story has been too unclear.

One thing is certain, most traditional PCs are not there yet. They haven’t yet reached that level of human understanding, and don’t yet react “intelligently” to real human user insights. Traditional PCs are certainly powerful and versatile, but they are not yet “Aware Devices”.

Most PCs today can be likened to a blindfolded person sitting somewhere, waiting to be told what to do by coded taps on their forearm. Modern ones might even understand if you poke them or whisper in their ear. But even if they can sometimes parse your words correctly, they don’t understand you. They don’t anticipate you. And they surely don’t proactively protect you.

Presence detection and head tracking visualization in the Tobii Experience app in Tobii Aware

Tobii is on a mission to humanize technology. Tobii wants to enable the creation of devices that actually understand you. That understand you through smart sensors, user-sensing computer vision algorithms, machine learning, deep learning and, of course, AI.

Tobii Aware — Technology That Anticipates Your Needs

While Tobii is best known for the advanced capabilities enabled by its eye tracking technology and hardware, that's just part of the story. Tobii champions a broad offering that is widely applicable due to an understanding of attention and intent, their areas of interest, how they want to interact, and what insights they need.

Eye tracking enabled devices are growing in number thanks to Tobii’s multi-PC-generation partnership with Dell’s Alienware , and the use cases are expanding out from niche to the mainstream. The company’s new, next-generation Tobii Aware software enables a much broader range of devices to gain the benefits associated with visually sensing the users.

Tobii Aware USP

By combining the hardware capabilities of a Windows Hello camera with Tobii Aware software, a variety of important new system benefits are unlocked, including:

Enhanced privacy and security

  • Enhanced feeling of privacy and device security through user ID recognition and automatic presence detection to blur and lock screens.

Digital wellbeing and convenience

  • Improved comfort and well-being via insights about screen time and healthy computer usage.
  • More intuitive and intelligent devices that stay awake when the user is present, warp mouse cursors and windows across multiple screens effortlessly, and un-dim or turn on the screen when users returns.

Power performance

  • Save power and CPU performance in with screens that naturally dim and react to user presence.

With Tobii Aware, PC manufacturers are offering a new level of humanized technology to their customers...

Project Athena

A number of years ago, Intel helped usher in the era of thin-and-light notebook PCs, then called ultrabooks. Now, Intel and a number of its partners are ready to take the ultrabook to the next level with ‘Project Athena,’ in a multi-year roadmap [they unveiled at] CES. — PC World

Tobii Aware Project Athena
Intel’s Project Athena (Intel and Project Athena are trademarks of Intel)

Other than fulfilling the expectation; other than being fast, always on, slim & light, high-performing, all day, next-gen ultrabooks, Athena devices are meant to be designed to anticipate you:

“Ready to go before you are"

“Proactively assist, filter, adapt and optimize"

“Always ready”

and not least…

“Rooted in human understanding”

Intel does have some focus areas for Project Athena, though. 5G and AI are top of the list […] Intel is providing PC makers with a roadmap to start bringing Project Athena devices to the market in the second half of 2019. Acer, Asus, Dell, Google, HP, Innolux, Lenovo, Microsoft, Samsung, and Sharp are all working on Project Athena. — The Verge

This is the building wave of the PC future.

Devices that are no longer blindfolded. Intuitive, insightful, socially aware devices wrapped in human understanding through computer vision, smart sensors and attention-sensing, machine learning algorithms. And this is exactly where Tobii and Tobii’s partners are going.

The Lenovo Yoga A940

Tobii Aware and Lenovo

Continuing to build on their growing reputation for adopting new and truly innovative, forward-leaning tech, Lenovo’s launch of the Lenovo Yoga A940, including Tobii Aware, is one of the first ripples in what will soon be a wave of attention-sensing devices.

Tobii Aware and Lenovo

Lenovo Smart Assist utilizes AI to anticipate your needs. Your face is your password, with an optional IR camera for hands-free login. And when you step or turn away from your device, your screen will blur and then darken for privacy and security, thanks to Tobii Aware attention-sensing software. — Lenovo

The new Lenovo Yoga A940 device includes everything that the next generation Tobii Aware has to offer today, in a sleek package targeted towards creatives.

The new intuitive, attention-sensing, smart PC era is starting. Let the race to the humanization of technology begin!

LENOVO and YOGA are trademarks of Lenovo

Check out our website to learn more about Tobii Aware.

  • PC screen-based
  • Personal computing

Written by

  • David Henderek

    David Henderek

    Director of product management for PC, Tobii

    As the director of product management for PC, I am responsible for the PC products, experiences, and OEM integrations in the PC Business Area at Tobii. For more than a decade, I have had the pleasure of being a part of this company, and watch it mature. During that time, I’ve held a bunch of roles and have been part of our transformation from eye tracking everywhere to our current vision of a world where all technology works in harmony with natural human behavior — it’s been quite a journey so far!

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