E3 2014 – New SteelSeries tech will make you better at gaming

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Steel series

We all try to get better at the games we enjoy. Some people go online to read strategy guides, other people practice for hours on end. However, SteelSeries has some eye tracking technology that might give gamers some new tools.

I was very happy to meet up with the SteelSeries people at E3, only partly because they had food, drink and relative quiet in their stand. They had two main things to show me, the Stratus XL and the Sentry. The Stratus XL is an enlarged version of the original Stratus (as the name might imply) and offers mobile gamers a controller solution. While it is quite interesting, it’s the Sentry that got me rather excited.

The Sentry uses eye tracking technology to determine exactly where on the screen the player is looking. It can hold a variety of profiles, so everyone in the household can use it without recalibrating every time – you can even save your profile for use in other locations. Eye tracking is interesting, but with our focus on eSports, I bet that this technology could have a lot of specific use in that area.

Before people climb into me, no, I doubt that they will let eSports professionals use this tech to make actions in the games. However, it does provide very useful feedback for those interested in improving their skills.

One example shown was using Dota 2. During a typical Dota map, players will look at their surroundings, the mini map, the store, and other parts of the screen. In the example on display, players could see where the average player tended to look compared to professionals. Plenty of amateurs like to watch all the clicks that Dendi or their favourite eSports pro will make, learning from click patterns to improve their own gameplay. Now, they can even see where they should be looking, and when.

Even the pros themselves could find this data useful. Perhaps they will notice that a particular player has poor map awareness compared to his teammates. They can actually track his eye movements to determine if he needs to view the mini map more often, or if the problem lies in the verbal communication and processing. Players (both professional and casual) can become aware of their eye movements and adjust as necessary, adding a whole new dataset for coaches.

Would you want to have this on your PC? Imagine opening an app just by staring at it? I’d have to add a setting that if I stared at a blank page for too long it would automatically open twitter to help with my procrastination. Can you think of other applications for this tech? The Sentry will be launching at the end of the year with plans to make it affordable, but still in the high-end price range.

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Last Updated: June 17, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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