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7.22.19
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TV Viewers Can Now Change the Channel With Just Their Eyes

June 17th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Future Society
Comcast

Mission: Control

On Monday, Comcast launched Xfinity X1 eye control, a feature that pairs with existing eye-tracking systems to let customers use their eyes like they would a remote control — with a well-placed glance, they can now change the channel, set a show to record, or search for a program.

The initial hope is that the system will make it easier for people with physical disabilities to enjoy television — but that’s just one part of Comcast’s bigger plan.

The Eyes Have It

According to Quartz, this new feature signals the first earnest attempt by a U.S. entertainment company to offer its customers eye control — and given the fact that Comcast is the largest cable TV provider in the nation, the tech could change how a lot of people watch TV.

But Tom Wlodkowski, Comcast’s Vice President of Accessibility, sees television as just the beginning.

He told Quartz that Comcast plans to eventually integrate eye-tracking technology into its smart home services to allow customers to control their home’s lights, thermostat, or doors using just their eyes.

Future Vision

If that rollout goes as planned — and the tech is easy to use — it’s not hard to imagine people without physical disabilities adopting it too.

In other words, this new Comcast feature could signal the first steps along a path to a future in which we all put down the remote in favor of controlling devices with just our eyes.

READ MORE: Comcast Launches Eye-Control For The Television [Comcast]

More on eye-tracking tech: Brutal Startup Is Using Eye Tracking to Force You to Watch Ads