Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Huawei integrates advanced eye-tracking in new phone

William Payne
January 5, 2017
Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei has added advanced eye tracking to its new Honor Magic smartphone using technology developed by medical and assisted living tech firm Tobii. The eye-tracking technology incorporated into Huawei's new smartphone is part of a wider trend to incorporate more advanced eye tracking technology into a wide range of devices, and should make it easier for developers to create assisted living and monitoring apps for people with special needs due to spinal cord injuries, Cerebral Palsey, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease), and other similar medical conditions.

The Honor Magic is Tobii’s first smartphone integration and uses features that are based on the user’s presence and attention, which is a sub-set of Tobii’s full eye-tracking capabilities. This makes the smartphone more responsive since it is aware of the user’s actions and intentions. 

The Honor Magic will only be available in the Chinese market, and sales began at on December 23, 2016. 

“Working closely to co-develop these features, we’re excited to bring consumers their first quality interactions with eye tracking in smartphones,” said Henrik Eskilsson, CEO of Tobii. “We believe that in the long term eye tracking will bring a profound impact to the user experience in smartphones. It is dedicated, well-respected partners like Huawei that help us continuously innovate.”

The Honor Magic is enhanced with Tobii’s EyeCore algorithms and a near infrared camera to acquire information on the presence and attention of the user. The solution is focused on making the Honor Magic a more intelligent smartphone, but does not detect the precise gaze of the user. The device can better understand the user’s current state, has greater insight into the user’s intention and is better able to accommodate their actions.

“The Honor Magic is taking the first important steps towards the future of interaction in smartphones. As we’ve seen during this year with product releases from Alienware, Acer, MSI, Ubisoft, Square-Enix and now also Huawei, the consumer electronics industry is placing emphasis on eye tracking as a new, exciting interaction modality. We see this happening simultaneously in gaming, VR and smartphones,” said Oscar Werner, president of Tobii Tech.