Mobile Technology

Tobii gives disabled users the power to control iPads with their eyes

Tobii gives disabled users the...
The TD Pilot package includes an iPad tablet, eye-tracking hardware, and a bunch of apps to get users communicating, playing and learning
The TD Pilot package includes an iPad tablet, eye-tracking hardware, and a bunch of apps to get users communicating, playing and learning
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The TD Pilot package includes an iPad tablet, eye-tracking hardware, and a bunch of apps to get users communicating, playing and learning
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The TD Pilot package includes an iPad tablet, eye-tracking hardware, and a bunch of apps to get users communicating, playing and learning
The TD Snap application can help folks communicate using symbols
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The TD Snap application can help folks communicate using symbols
The TD Pilot hardware wraps around an iPad and tracks a user's eyes to facilitate communication through AAC software
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The TD Pilot hardware wraps around an iPad and tracks a user's eyes to facilitate communication through AAC software
The TD Pilot can be mounted to a stand or wheelchair, and the eye tracking hardware is designed to work indoors or outside – even in bright sunlight
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The TD Pilot can be mounted to a stand or wheelchair, and the eye tracking hardware is designed to work indoors or outside – even in bright sunlight
The TD Talk application turns text typed using tracked eyes into natural-sounding speech, which is output via the TD Pilot's built-in speakers
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The TD Talk application turns text typed using tracked eyes into natural-sounding speech, which is output via the TD Pilot's built-in speakers
Tobii has included a second screen around back that mirrors what's being typed by the user, for more natural face-to-face interactions
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Tobii has included a second screen around back that mirrors what's being typed by the user, for more natural face-to-face interactions
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Using your eyes to control a computer or laptop might sound like a great way to free up your hands and boost productivity, but for disabled users it could open the door to an online world many of us take for granted. Sweden's Tobii Dynavox has now brought its eye-tracking know-how to Apple's iPad, giving a voice to folks with conditions like cerebral palsy, ALS and spinal cord injury.

Tobii's TD Pilot is like a chunky tablet case that brings native eye-tracking integration to an iPad, with the company leveraging the power of iPadOS 15 to allow users to engage with social media, play games, line up entertainment, access educational apps and so on using their eyes to control an onscreen cursor.

It comes with a bunch of specially-designed augmentative and alternative communications (AAC) software applications too, including TD Talk that converts text generated by eye movement into "natural-sounding speech," a communication toolbox called TD Snap to help facilitate communication with the help of symbols, and a calibration and management suite called TD CoPilot.

The TD Pilot benefits from a rugged design, rocks two integrated 10-W speakers, comes with optional Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and can be mounted to a wheelchair or stand. Tobii's latest eye-tracking hardware is reported to work in most lighting conditions, even outdoors in bright sunlight. And the Made for iPad accessory sports a secondary display around back to make for more natural face-to-face conversations by essentially mirroring what's being entered by the gaze-tracked user.

The TD Pilot can be mounted to a stand or wheelchair, and the eye tracking hardware is designed to work indoors or outside – even in bright sunlight
The TD Pilot can be mounted to a stand or wheelchair, and the eye tracking hardware is designed to work indoors or outside – even in bright sunlight

"We are immensely proud to launch TD Pilot, a life-changing communication solution that empowers people with disabilities to live their fullest lives," said company CEO, Fredrik Ruben. "TD Pilot offers customers a medically certified, eye-controlled communication device for iPad. By bringing our world-leading eye tracking technology to iPad, we have created a powerful and easy-to-use solution to support our customers' needs."

The TD Pilot package is on sale now, and comes supplied with an iPad, connection cables and its own battery. What hasn't been shared is a price, but Tobii notes that potential users may be eligible for funding to help bring this assistive technology into their lives, it can also be prescribed as a medical device by specialists, and even "delivered through insurance systems worldwide." The video below has more.

TD Pilot: speech-generating iPad, controlled with your eyes

Product page: TD Pilot

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