Skip to main content

Microsoft Now Testing Games Playable With Eye Movements

By July 11, 2019May 17th, 2022Technology News

Microsoft is continuing to push quietly into new frontiers on the accessibility front.  Their most recent effort?  The release of four free “Eyes First” games that people who have speech and mobility-related disabilities can play using nothing but eye movements. The new quartet of Windows 10 games, Maze, Double Up, Match Two, and a Tile Slide puzzle were all developed by Microsoft Research.

All four games make heavy use of Windows 10 eye-tracking APIs that were introduced into the OS as a part of Windows 10 version 1803, which in turn, built on the “Eye Control” accessibility feature that was introduced in version 1709.

The company sees it as a perfect win-win scenario.  People with the aforementioned disabilities get four fun games they can play. The company gets the opportunity to study, assess, and improve the technologies to  open the door to new eye tracking technologies in the future. It’s also a good proof of concept that Microsoft hopes will drive developer interest in creating new games that make use of the APIs.  In fact, the company is counting on it and has even created a Gaze Interaction Library on their site.

If you’re interested in testing the technology out for yourself, the first thing you’ll need is a compatible eye tracker.  Once you’ve got one, you’ll need to enable the “Eye Control” feature under the “Ease of Access” section of your system’s settings. From there, it’s a simple matter of downloading and installing the games you want to play and getting to it!  Of course, while all four games were designed with eye tracking in mind, it’s also possible to play them via mouse or touchscreen controls.

It’s an exciting new technology being put to fun, playful use for testing.  Kudos to Microsoft!

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.