To empower physically-challenged people to operate an on-screen mouse and keyboard, Microsoft has announced beta version of ‘Eye Control’ feature for Windows 10 that lets users control much of the interface with just eye movements. The ‘Eye Control’ feature is now rolling out in the Windows Insider Preview Build 16257 for PC. Separately, Microsoft is also revamping its Microsoft Console aka command prompt with more colours for the first time in more than 20 years.
Microsoft has mentioned in its blog post that the Eye Control feature requires a compatible eye tracker, like the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C. When users turn on Eye Control, a launchpad appears that allows then reads eye movements and gives access to mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech tool. Users will also be able to reposition the UI to the opposite side of the screen.” There is also an Eye Control interaction model to interact with the Windows UI, where looking at the UI will activate it along with voice guidance. Eye Control only works with the US English language keyboard support initially, with plans to add more keyboard layouts later.
Users can control the mouse by simply selecting the mouse from the launchpad, position their eyes on the screen where they want the cursor to be placed. Users can select the keyboard from the launchpad and ‘dwell’ on the characters they want to type. However, the new tool faces challenges in direct sunlight and, therefore, the company said the device might require new calibration when moving to a location with different lighting conditions. Also, the launchpad partially blocks the Tobii UI during device calibration, which can worked around by turning the Eye Control off and turning it back again after calibration is done. The Eye Control feature currently supports only with selected eye trackers of Tobii hardware, however Microsoft plans to bring more devices in future.
Moving to the Microsoft Console aka command prompt that has now been overhauled to include a new colour scheme for the first time in more than 20 years. The same Windows 10 Insider Preview Build (v16257) now brings support for additional default colours on the command prompt, giving users a dramatic change to Windows Console’s legacy blue to improve its legibility. “The default colour values have been changed to improve legibility of darker colours on modern screens, and to give the Console a more modern look & feel,” notes the blog.
Windows 10 testers will only be able to see new colours as the default Console scheme only if they clean-install the build 16257. However, upgrading Windows to this new build will brings new colours but without the new defaults. Microsoft will also be soon releasing a tool that will help testers apply this new colour scheme and a selection of alternative colour schemes to the Windows Console.