I used eye tracking in The Division, and it actually worked

2 min read


Yesterday, I used another of MSI’s Laptops that is actually a new one – and it features some technology that I’d assumed to be a complete gimmick. No, it’s not Virtual Reality (which I’m starting to become quite enamoured with, by the way) – but rather something that I thought was more of a gimmick along the lines of Microsoft’s first Kinect.

But I tried it out …and well, it works. I’m talking about Tobii’s eye-tracking which uses black magic to not just see where you’re facing, but to actually track where you’re looking. It’s built right in to one of MSI’s new laptops, the GT72S. Well, I say new, but it’s really just new-ish – It’s a refresh of a machine released in February, but it’s the first time I’ve been able to go, well, eyes on.

After calibrating a profile of my own (before that, it seems that the system though I was a tad cross-eyed) I was able to run through a few tech demoes that had me shooting laserbeams out of my eyes and blowing up virtual asteroids. You kind of expect tech demoes to work though –so impressed as I was, I didn’t really see the point. Yes, it works with Microsoft’s Windows Hello, but I still didn’t really see the point.

And then I tried it with The Division, which comes as a pack-in game on the GT72S, and is tuned for eye-tracking. You’re able to look around the screen freely just by darting your eyes- so the screen smoothly pans to where you’re looking. Or, if you’d like, you can set it to use your eye location for aiming – which is a bit like cheating, really. Look at an enemy, press your left mouse button and you’ve got a guy with less health than he had before.

If you don’t want to cheat, you can just use it for location. Look at a bit of cover, and hold space to move there. It’s silly, and probably a bit pointless – but it sure as hell does work. I can’t honestly think of any real practical applications for eye-tracking, but it’s pretty damned impressive.

Last Updated: June 1, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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