Tobii Eye Tracker 4C Review: This literally game-changing eye tracker adds an extra layer of control to complex games, by following your eyeballs with scary precision. Here’s our full Tobii Eye Tracker 4C review.
While VR is rather rapidly transforming the futurescape of PC gaming, offering a fresh and exciting way to immerse yourself in the latest titles, it’s also really bloody inaccessible right now. Not only are the likes of the HTC Vive crazy expensive, but you’ll also need a spacious home setup to get involved.
The Tobii Eye Tracker is a curious beast, because it offers some VR-style game control with none of the intrusive tech. We already reviewed the original Tobii Eye Tracker and this 4C model is a new, improved version, with head tracking built in.
Here’s our Tobii Eye Tracker 4C review.
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Tobii Eye Tracker 4C Review: Design and setup
Not much has changed design-wise between the original tracker and this new model. It’s still a slender black bar which attaches to your monitor, courtesy of some bundled magnetic sticky pads. The 0.8m cable plugs into any spare USB port and is rather short, so we were pleased to see a USB extender cable included in the box.
Setting up the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C is pleasingly quick and easy. Just connect the sensor bar to your computer and run the installation app and you’re straight into the setup program. This helps you to configure the tracker in just a couple of minutes, including some quick tests to ensure everything is functioning as expected.
To use the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C with a game, all you need to do is run the Infinite Screen Extension application before you start to play. This automatically detects any supported titles that are installed on your system and works its magic in the background. Just tell it what you’re about to play and then boot up the game as usual, and the Eye Tracker will function as expected during gameplay.
Tobii Eye Tracker 4C Review: Game experience
For the purpose of this review, we tried out the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C with Elite: Dangerous.
First of all, using the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C takes some getting used to. VR games are quite easy to get to grips with because you’re typically just looking around, and occasionally tapping a couple of buttons. But with the Tobii, you’re adding another layer of interaction on top of already complex keyboard and mouse controls.
In Elite: Dangerous, you can use the Eye Tracker 4C to glance around the cockpit. This allows you to quickly access the ship’s computer and other features, while steering your craft as usual. Once you’ve wrapped your brain around it, the Tobii really does help to immerse you in the game and can help to speed up your interactions. But there’s a definite learning curve which you’ll have to drag yourself up first.
We were seriously impressed by the pixel-perfect accuracy of the Eye Tracker 4C in our testing. In Elite: Dangerous, moving your gaze to the side of the display causes the camera to shift in that direction; so far, so good. But you can also stare at a distant star and see it flare up on-screen, which is something akin to witchcraft.
Tobii Eye Tracker 4C Review: Game support
Of course, the Tobii Eye Tracker could be the most incredible tech we’ve ever…clapped eyes on, but if no games actually supported it, you’d be better off sticking a pilchard to your gaming monitor.
Thankfully there’s a reasonable selection of compatible games right now, despite the youthfulness of the Eye Tracker. Recent titles including Watch Dogs 2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Tom Clancy’s The Division and Elite: Dangerous all support the Tobii, with more games being added to the list at regular intervals. Action and racing titles obviously feature heavily, although you’ll also find some puzzley adventures like Pavilion and Pollen in the list of compatible games.
Tobii Eye Tracker 4C Review: Verdict
At €159, the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C isn’t a cheap accessory for your PC gaming sessions. However, there’s no denying that the tech works as promised and the selection of supported games is already pretty decent considering the age of the tech.
If you’re after a halfway house between standard PC gaming and VR, this’ll do the job nicely.
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