Academics and students at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand have been working on their open source Windows Gaze Control project for the past three years and report the GazeToolbar has now reached sufficient maturity to be used by real users. The GazeToolbar allows users to control a computer hands-free using only their gaze, together with a low-cost eyetracker.
The Otaga team explain, "The main advantage of our software is that it is completely free. The hardware requirements are just a low-cost Tobii eye tracker (costing around $200). We believe our software provides most of the functionality of expensive accessibility commercial solutions that often cost upwards from $3,000. Our sense is that if someone can afford both an expensive eye tracker and expensive gaze control software, they will be better served by a commercial company that provides extensive user support. As a software project that was developed within an academic institution, we don't have the resources to provide assistance for troubleshooting. Thus, the software is provided as is and it is up to the potential user or their caregivers to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. That being said, through our extensive software testing, we have not detected major issues with the app. An average computer user that goes through the user guide should be able to install the software and quickly familiarize himself or herself with how gaze control works. Thus, our software might be beneficial for those who cannot afford commercial accessibility solutions or for those who want to try gaze interaction technology before they actually purchase an expensive commercial solution."
The GazeToolbar software can be downloaded from the gitub repository https://accessibilitysoftwarehub.github.io/software.html#gazecontrol and the user guide is available at https://github.com/accessibilitysoftwarehub/OpenSourceWindowsGazeControl/wiki/User-Guide.