On Monday, Comcast established Xfinity X1 eye controller, a feature that matches with present eye-tracking systems to let clients use their eyes like they want a remote control — with a well-placed glimpse, they are now able to alter the channel, set a show to record, or search for a program.
The initial expectation is the system will make it easier for people with physical disabilities to enjoy television — but that is just one part of Comcast’s larger strategy.
Xfinity X1 eye controller is an online remote for tablets and computers which pairs using a present eye gaze program and allows audiences with a single glance to alter the channel, access the DVR or look for programs.
X1 eye control uses a website remote controller that works seamlessly with existing eye gaze hardware and software, Sip-and-Puff switches and other assistive technologies. After customers pair the web-based remote with their set-top-box, each time they gaze in a button, then the online remote sends the corresponding command to the television.
The service addresses a population of TV audiences. According to Comcast, more than 48 million people in the U.S. have physical or mobility disabilities, and every day about 15 individuals are newly diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. If this rollout goes as planned — and the tech is easy to use — it’s not difficult to envision people without physical disabilities adopting it as well.
To put it differently, this new Comcast feature could indicate the first steps along a path to a future in which most of us put down the remote in favor of controlling apparatus with our eyes.