Home Forums EyeX Feature Requests feat OS X / Linux drivers

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This topic contains 42 replies, has 34 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Kurt Wilson Kurt Wilson 3 months ago.

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  • #403
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Hi guys, I’ve been waiting forever for some sort of initial linux or OS X driver to be released. The only thing stopping me from ordering one is the lack of support for those OSes.

    When can we expect some sort of beta driver or some basic implementation which at least allows the eyex to be used for basic usage on Unix based systems?

    #404
    Profile photo of Anders [Tobii]
    Anders [Tobii]
    Moderator

    Hi josh,

    there are no plans for multi-platform support for the EyeX Controller and Engine yet, at least nothing that I can share. Multi-platform is great, but it comes at a cost, and right now we’re focusing on making the user experience on Windows the best we possibly can.

    The REX eye tracker does work on Linux (with the low-level Gaze SDK), though, and it might be possible to convince us to port the Gaze SDK to OS X as well.

    #410
    Profile photo of gigertron
    gigertron
    Participant

    @josh: if you’re like me, and your usage is primarily for control and hacking, you could do what I do: VNC from a windows laptop running the Tobii driver into an OSX machine. I do this all day at my office for eye control on the mac : D

    #415
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    The VNC trick isn’t a bad idea, but there is the problem associated with different aspect ratio and much larger screen size (24 inch).

    And Anders, thanks for your response. To that I’ll say look, it’s respectable to want to have a complete, airtight fully featured release one OS at a time, but I strongly believe that you may be overestimating the needs of a lot of people who want to work with it.

    I bet good money that a lot of guys, just like me, want it (initially anyway) as a mouse replacement to reduce wrist strain and have a more natural experience with their desktop. And on top of that, a lot of said guys I reckon are also developers (just like me).

    I think it would be SERIOUSLY in your interests to release an alpha/beta/whatever Linux/OS X driver and simple utility combination, to enable just basic desktop mouse functionality. And bonus points for open sourcing it (the real value lies in your hardware product after all), there are a lot of tenacious people who will probably take it further than you guys could alone. The sooner we’re able to just start using it for something simple and basic, but become accustomed to actual usage, the better it is for everyone 😉

    #418
    Profile photo of Ivan Andrus
    Ivan Andrus
    Participant

    +1 to everything @josh said.

    #471
    Profile photo of Elias
    Elias
    Participant

    I am absolutely positive for Linux Driver support.
    I can understand you don’t want to support all platforms but giving the community some basic features would be really nice.

    Of course it would be a nice plus to have open source drivers but I really doubt Tobii will make us this favor… The core asset of Tobii is not selling $99 equipment but reliable tracking algorithms. Without the software the EyeX is simply yet another webcam.

    #480
    Profile photo of Robert [Tobii]
    Robert [Tobii]
    Moderator

    Great to hear your thoughts on cross-platform support. I just wanted to comment on:

    the real value lies in your hardware product

    vs.

    Without the software the EyeX is simply yet another webcam

    I agree that the hardware part is where most of the value is, but the way I see it there is a significant value also on the software side.

    The hardware has been evolving for over a decade and is optimized for tracking eyes. It is not just a webcam, since it uses a combination of tailor-made hardware components, algorithms and control logic to be able to compensate for head movements, varying light conditions and different eye types. See this page for some info on the different parts of the system
    http://www.tobii.com/en/eye-experience/oem/core-eye-tracking-tech/
    (sorry about the marketing talk, it is aimed for OEM companies and not developers)

    However, our experience from working with 3rd party developers and hardware integration partners for many years is that it is not enough with a good eye tracking hardware with a low-level API. To be able to develop a descent application, there is a lot of work with handling hardware connection and error codes, screen setup, gaze data filtering, object tracking, additional input handling and the actual user interactions. Most developers have given up way too soon. That’s why we have invested a lot in the EyeX Engine and EyeX SDK for Windows.

    We would like to prove the use cases on Windows first, before we can move on to other platforms. It would be a possible option to open-source parts of the technology stack for other platforms and use the Windows solution as inspiration for the community, but we have not decided whether to take this path yet. Good to hear that we have some contributors out there, should that be the case.

    #481
    Profile photo of Elias
    Elias
    Participant

    I have to admit my classification of the EyeX sensor as simply another webcam might be a bit harsh. I am pretty sure there is a lot of effort in the hardware side of the product, too.

    However, nobody can expect miracles when you sell a hardware device for USD 99. I am pretty sure you have to rely on mass produced parts in many domains to stay in the budget. I doubt the EyeX sensor is comparable with the much more expensive devices in Tobii’s shelf. That is what I wanted to point out when I made this comment.

    As you described by yourself there is a lot of software going on in the product and I would express my respect for all the work and clever ideas to bring such a wonderful experience for such a low cost consumer-friendly budget to the market. The real differences between the main commercial and non-commercial alternatives is not mainly in the hardware but in the software. That’s my two cents.

    Kudos for Tobiis developer team, to make this happen.

    (It would be nice if you can comment on my other question of the specific hardware differences of the upcoming PCEyeX and the REX, thanks)

    #755
    Profile photo of Mike Kasprzak
    Mike Kasprzak
    Participant

    I just want to reiterate the requests for Linux support. When setting up a little installation, a number of OEMs make these great mini PCs with current chips and USB 3.0 (Gigabyte, etc). You can build one a-lot cheaper if you don’t need Windows on it. Heck, the cost of Windows covers the cost of the sensor.

    Not to mention Steam Machines. All this miniaturization of good PCs is making me excited.

    #761
    Profile photo of Pablo
    Pablo
    Participant

    I also strongly vote for this! If you would make GazeSDK together with eyeX to work on linux, it would be a big deal!

    #763
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    It’s too late, I’ve already converted to a competitor that cares about its cross-platform reach:

    I’ve pre-ordered the Eye Tribe gadget, I think those guys are more ready to take a problem on like this effectively. It is for both UNIX and Windows, as well as having a tablet friendly solution.

    The problem is that Tobii’s background is in specialist devices, and so they’ve never needed to worry too much about being Windows-centric.

    Now it seems that approach is their undoing, because if there’s one thing you need to be prepared for when going mainstream, it’s market reach and device compatibility.

    #764
    Profile photo of Anders [Tobii]
    Anders [Tobii]
    Moderator

    josh,
    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve abandoned the EyeX track. I hope that we’ll be able to announce multi-platform support for EyeX in the not so distant future, and you’re welcome back then.

    #804
    Profile photo of Matthieu Herrb
    Matthieu Herrb
    Participant

    +1 for Linux drivers. As a wrote on another topic, many people in the robotics community, mostly using Linux (with the ROS system) would really be interested in using the EyeX device in human/robot interaction work.

    http://developer.tobii.com/community/forums/topic/eyex-for-linux-and-larger-than-24-inch-monitors/

    http://www.ros.org/

    #1420
    Profile photo of JOHN WHITLOW
    JOHN WHITLOW
    Participant

    Linux is very important but don’t forget to give Android some love too!

    #1618
    Profile photo of Sean Doyle
    Sean Doyle
    Participant

    I’m also interested in OSX and iOS interfaces. I do have some Windows projects here where I’ll be using the EyeX – but most of my projects are clinical applications that use iOS. If there is work in this area I’d be happy to do some beta testing. I do realize that you guys need to be focused and have limited resources so if it’s not possible.. then it’s not possible. Thanks.

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