SteelSeries unveils Sentry eye-tracking training aid
June 9, 2014 // 11:10 a.m.
Peripherals specialist SteelSeries has announced plans to launch an eye-tracking camera accessory designed to aid competitive gamers in analysing their performances.
Eye-tracking technology is nothing new: several laptops have been released into the market that use an in-built camera to track the position of the viewer's eyes in order to produce a glasses-free 3D stereoscopic image, while Samsung has used the technology to automate content scrolling and prevent the device sleeping on its smartphones. SteelSeries' creation is a little different, however: it's being marketed as a training aid.
According to the company, one of the chief indicators of a pro-grade competitive gamer is the speed at which their eyes switch between areas of the game display - rated in fixations per minute, or the number of times the eyes lock onto a new element over a 60-second period. The higher the FPM, the more effective the gamer is at reacting quickly - or so the claim goes.
FPM is traditionally difficult to measure, leaving pro-gamers instead concentrating on actions per minute (APM). The SteelSeries Sentry aims to fix that, using a high-sensitivity camera system to track the player's gaze and measure FPM in real-time while also storing the data for later analysis.
It's a niche product, to be sure, but one SteelSeries seems confident will be popular with the eSports crowd. 'We are constantly looking for ways to improve,' claimed former Team Fnatic captain Patrik 'cArn' Sättermon at the company's announcement. 'Even improvement at a granular level, that will sometimes be the difference between death and victory.'
The Sentry is being produced in partnership with eye-tracking specialist Tobii Technology with a view to launch later this year. Pricing has not yet been provided.