Danish company “The Eye Tribe” (originally “Senseye”) has placed themselves at the cutting edge of eye tracking software. The startup originated at a Startup Weekend Mobile event held last year in Copenhagen. The team aims to make mobile technology more fluid and easy by incorporating the natural functions of our eyes. Sune Johansen describes his team’s experience at Startup Weekend; “We were basically a bunch of PhD students with a lot of research and knowledge. Alex Farcet told us about Startup Weekend. We were very skeptical about the concept at first. What could we actually achieve in a weekend, and why would it even be relevant instead of just doing our development at the university campus as usual? At the end we decided that we needed to get out of the office. That was our best decision ever!
SW taught us the lesson that we need to get out of the lab, we need to share and involve other people to succeed, and that you can do incredible things when you are focused.”Johansen explains how The Eye Tribe product evolved; “Since the theme of SW was Mobile, we decided to apply our eye tracking research and software meant for desktop PC’s to a mobile device. We came up with an idea, and it was really difficult for us to recruit developers the first evening. Nobody really believed that we could fulfill our ambition of making a working protoype during the weekend. Probably not even ourselves. However, we actually did it, and did a live demo for the ending pitch (you can watch the demo on youtube
). We only did it because we had a great team that weekend of people we never met before. It was really an eye-opening event for us. And on top of it, the prototype we made that weekend helped us win several awards and competitions, and in the end we got the funding we need to bring this to the next level.”
The team just recently raised $800K USD in funding, which will allow them to maintain a strong presence in the upcoming new era of eye software and technology. Sune Johansen, CEO, explains; “Eye control is going to be the next big thing for interaction with smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices like the upcoming Google glasses.” Eye tracking software will allow mobile users to navigate their devices solely with the use of their eyes. The Eye Tribe has shown demos of the software being used to play popular games such as “Fruit Ninja”, for example. With the help of funding, The Eye Tribe will be able to continue developing their product as eye software becomes more common in the world of mobile technology.
With the ability to use a mobile device without one’s hands, Eye Tribe expects that a variety of areas will benefit from the software – from monitors, phones, and computers to gaming devices and cars.
This year, along with five other companies, Eye Tribe was named one of the “Cool Vendors in Human-Machine Interface 2012.” Eye Tribe is also nominated for the Arctic15, an annual conference for promising Nordic and Baltic entrepreneurs that also brings together investors, executives, and partners.
Vote here for EyeTribe before this Sunday, September 9th, to ensure their presence as a contestant for the event, which takes place October 16th-18th.
As we enter into a new realm of technology, this is one company to pay attention to. For more information about The Eye Tribe, check out their website.