About this project
How-to order your eyeCharm in less than 5 minutes!
Skip this, if you have pledged on Kickstarter before.
We have received a lot of requests from Kickstarter first-timers wanting to order the eyeCharm. For all of you, who have never pledged (=contributed/ordered): It takes less than 5 minutes if you have an Amazon account and follow our Step-by-Step description in the "Updates" section.
We would be happy if this helps growing the Kickstarter Community!
Have you already seen our eyeCharm Easter Special Update?
The NUIA eyeCharm as featured on:
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Also check out our Facebook page for more videos and information about NUIA!
The Magic of Controlling a Computer with your Eyes
You will feel it once your computer starts responding directly to your gaze. Eye tracking is one of the most fascinating technologies and will change the way we work with our computers in the future.
To give you an idea of the possibilities: Stay in a comfortable position with hands off the keyboard and mouse while the scrolling adjusts to your reading. Select a tool in Photoshop® while resting the cursor where you had just fine-positioned it. Play Diablo® with both hands on the keyboard for chatting. These are just some basic examples and for those of us who like to pull a prank should not underestimate the fun, in making your friends believe your computer can read your mind, when you control it without any visible input.
To give your computer a precise understanding of where you look at, a special device called an eye tracker is necessary. By illuminating your face with invisible infrared light, analyzing the natural movements of your eyes and adding some physics and mathematics, it is then possible to calculate the area you are looking at.
eyeCharm will bring it to all of us
Eye tracking is extremely intuitive and natural but at todays price points of $ 995 to $ 20,000 and more it stays inaccessible for most of us. Having grown deeply fascinated with the technology during the past two years of developing software solutions for it, we decided it's time to create an affordable solution for everybody.
For those of us who have access to a Kinect we have found it. For $ 60 you get the eyeCharm as an add-on to your Kinect (Xbox or Windows version). You also get the NUIA Apps we have already created for eye control PLUS the powerful NUIA SDK in case you want to teach your favorite applications and games some great new tricks.
eyeCharm will make your Computer Experience more Comfortable
Imagine reading through the latest posts at breakfast with your computer magically following your attention while you sip your morning coffee (All major browsers are supported).
Or making yourself comfortable in front of your computer, flipping through your favorite photos just by looking at them while eating chips.
Or launching your Windows Metro Start Screen by looking to the corner of your screen, then open Bing Maps and make it zoom to the spot you look at.
eyeCharm your Computer within Minutes
Plug and Play - the NUIA eyeCharm set up is easy and uncomplicated. Within less than 10 minutes you can attach the NUIA eyeCharm to your Kinect, put it below your monitor, install the NUIA Software Suite and start experiencing the magic of eye control.
You loved your Kinect - now it's time it makes your computer work easier and a lot cooler. We use the Kinect's infrared camera and microphone array (yes, speech input is also supported by the NUIA software) and the eyeCharm adds the necessary optics and special infrared illumination to get you going. We currently support Windows 7/8 and you will need a Kinect (Xbox or Windows version) including its USB adapter cable.
Kickstart into Developing Eye Tracking Applications
You want to go beyond using the NUIA eyeCharm for everyday life and create your vision of an eye tracking app?
"NUIA makes it easier to code PC apps with eye control... There's nothing stopping developers from applying this to creative, productivity or even enterprise apps… the technology does work as advertised" - engadget
Just like touch devices required new games concepts as compared to PC or console games, developing eye controlled applications is also a whole new world of opportunities. If you find the best setup, you might very well create the Angry Birds equivalent for eye control on this green field. Eye tracking is expected to start spreading in the consumer market in 2014 and investments are being ramped up.
With NUIA eyeCharm you get the testing environment to dive into developing eye tracking applications with a head-start. With the NUIA SDK you get a powerful multimodal development kit, with support for MS Visual Studio and Qt Creator and bindings for C, C++, C#, .Net and Java.
NUIA technology is designed to make it easy to bring your ideas with eye tracking and speech capabilities to life. Creating dedicated extensions for your favorite apps in our easy scripting language might require only a few dozen lines of code. How about just looking at a picture in the Picasa gallery and add it to the album by saying "add" or just giving it a nod?
NUIA SDK provides a large sandbox to play in – no matter if you want to create a complete application from scratch or create an extensions to teach Adobe® Photoshop, Google® Earth or League of Legends® some new tricks. Of course we have made sure that in order to extend an existing application, no changes to the sourcecode or binaries of the underlying app are necessary.
Your NUIA Apps are universal
We work together with the leading eye tracking companies (e.g. tobii and SMI) and the NUIA SDK also supports input from their eye trackers. The moment their integrated eye trackers start spreading, you don't have to change the extensions and applications you have developed. NUIA software is built to take in input from all major sensors in the market and can easily be extended to future generations.
The change is only beginning. We believe natural computer interaction will combine many inputs. Next to eye tracking and speech recognition the NUIA SDK also supports gestures from the Kinect, the Leap, the Asus® Xtion Pro, the Creative® Interactive Gesture Camera and any other gesture camera supporting OpenNI. Beyond that, basically any input hardware from any vendor (like the other great hardware products here on Kickstarter) can be connected to the NUIA Software Suite and we are constantly adding new devices to enhance the possibilities.
Angry Birds perfectly fits touch. Do you have an idea, what the next hit for eye tracking will look like? Then get started today.
Pledge and Immerse into the Future of Computing
If you are a technology enthusiast like us and want to feel the magic of controlling your computer with your eyes, if you want to create apps for the next level of computer interaction, or if you just want to upgrade your Kinect for the fun of it, you must back this Kickstarter project.
Thank you for your pledge to bring the eyeCharm into our lives!
For more videos and information about NUIA visit our Facebook page
- Alpha Release NUIA Core & SDK: Dec 19, 2012
- Product Design: Feb 8, 2013
- Pre-Production run and QA testing: June 3, 2013
- Initial Production run with 100 devices: June 17, 2013
- Start of Production run of all devices: June 27, 2013
- Beta Release NUIA Core & SDK with closed beta testing: July 5, 2013
- Finale Release NUIA Core & SDK and shipping to customer: August 1, 2013
We are a team of passionate technology enthusiasts - creating next generation user experiences and dedicated hardware since 2007. We are developers dedicated to facilitate the way we interact with computers. Our experience in developing innovative user experience focused software solutions for next generation computing devices gives us the know-how to kickstart the eyeCharm. To kickstart a more natural way to interact and communicate with our computers. But we also have an open source background and believe that only together with your ideas and creativity we can make a great solution happen.
Become a backer and join the revolution in computer interaction!
Kickstarter for this great plattform, our community for the support and ideas over the last years, Jan Heitmann and Hendrik Lesser for the advice and - since it's a rare one - Microsoft for launching the Kinect ;)
Risks and challenges
From prototypes to scaled production is a complex step. Based on our experience with the WeTab, we know that risk management is the key element to a successful launch. The main challenges are:
Scale production of calibrated optics:
Solid optics working with all your Kinects are the key to a great experience for you. That's why we are working with a german specialist in lens production and lenses will be assembled and tested as composite units.
Create production ready units from prototypes and get all regulatory approvals:
A safe experience for you is important to us. We are working together with partners from our WeTab launch to rely on optimized workflows.
The headbox - an eye tracking specific:
Like with the Kinect, the optics can only track your eyes in an optimized area - this is called the headbox. Maximizing it with the final optics and illumination and making sure it covers the area where you want to move around when working with your computer is one of the main tasks in the following weeks. An office is not a home. By relying on home-use tests with different users testing for several weeks in their home environment we make sure we understand what you want.
Robustness and accuracy - another eye tracking specific:
All eye trackers still come to their limits with special eye conditions and the NUIA eyeCharm for Kinect is no different. For some of you, this is bad news. If you wear bifocal glasses or glasses with IR blocking coating, you won't be able to use the eye tracking functionality. If you have glasses or contact lenses with high dioptrin you have to decide if you want to give it a try. If you experience any problems, we will have a special email address so you can get in touch with us and together we can try to optimize the algorithms to make the eyeCharm work for you.
Optimizing system performance requirements:
Eye tracking algorithms are mathematical calculations based on the image data. E.g. on an Intel Core i5-3470 3,2GHz system NUIA has a peak CPU load of 5%. We will optimize the algorithms, but to make sure you get a smooth experience, we currently would recommend a PC with Intel or AMD multi-core and at least 2 GB of RAM.
Delivery on time:
If everybody performs, this is easy to handle, but we experienced before, how delivery dates get endangered if only one element in the supply chain delays. We will not go through this again. To make sure you get your eyeCharm when you expect it, we have made sure we have enough buffer to kick in the fallbacks.
We are using the IR camera of the Kinect to make eye tracking at this price possible. You need a Kinect (and the USB adapter cable if it is the Xbox version), but they are available at craigslist and ebay below $ 100.
Both versions are supported. In case of the Kinect for Xbox version, the adaptor cable to convert to standard USB 2.0 has to be used to connect to the computer. The cable was included in the shipments of Kinect except certain bundles with Xbox. If it is missing, it can also be purchased e.g. at Amazon searching for "Xbox 360 Kinect AC Adapter/ Power Supply" currently for $ 7.79.
Currently Windows 7 / 8 are supported, but NUIA is designed platform independent to make it easy to port to Mac OS X / Android / Chrome OS / Linux etc. Our team has a strong Linux and Mac background - We definitely want to port and will decide where to start depending on the request for each OS.
Yes. Originally we wanted to add europe as free shipping area, but Kickstarter only offers to select the US as a separate free shipping area. Based on that, our production calculation is based on a bulk shipment to the US and shipping will happen from there. Help us making this the biggest german Kickstarter project ever and maybe Kickstarter will soon add more flexible shipping options.
Yes. The eyeCharm is a hardware clip-on and no changes are being made to the Kinect or the Kinect's firmware. The NUIA software is just directly to your PC. When you take the eyeCharm off, and plug the Kinect back to the Xbox, you can use it as before.
In addition to the C++ and C# binding and integration in .Net and Qt, the NUIA SDK comes with a generic C binding that can be used for Python as well as many other languages incl. Matlab, Java, Labview etc.
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