It looks like the rumors about a Windows 10 Preview build coming today was right. Fast Ring Windows Insiders and those who have chosen to Skip Ahead should now notice build 16257 in Windows Update.
As usual, we’ve put together what’s new as you update your Windows Insider device. On top of that, there were plenty of improvements for Microsoft Edge, Console, Input, and Windows Defender Application Guard. We’ve also compiled a list of known issues for you to peruse. Notably, the build includes the previously ‘leaked’ changes to the default Windows console colors.
Eye Control (beta:)
Support for Eye Control accessibility is now in beta for the preview build 16257! With compatible eye trackers, users on Windows 10 will be able to perform tasks that normally would require a mouse and keyboard. Here’s how to set it up:
- Own or purchase a Tobii Eye Tracker 4C (Coming next will be support for Tobii Dynavox PCEye Mini, PCEyePlus, EyeMobile Plus, and I-series.)
- Download and update to Tobii’s Core eye tracking hot fix release 188.8.131.5258 and run calibration with your own profile
- Check for Windows Updates; the new Tobii Eye Tracker HIDClass Driver should be found on Windows Update and installed automatically.
- Make sure your Tobii eye tracker is connected to your PC and turn on Eye Control by going to Settings > Ease of Access > Other Options > Eye control.
Setting up Eye Control:
- The Eye Control launchpad will show up on your screen, letting you access a mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech features. Furthermore, users will be able to interact with the UI by simply looking at it until the button activates.
- Eye Control interaction model – To interact with the UI for Eye Control, simply look at the UI with your eyes until the button activates. A visual affordance will appear around the UI that you are looking at.
- Eye Control mouse – To control the mouse, select the mouse from the launchpad, position your eyes on the screen where you want the cursor to be placed, fine tune the position, and select what action you want to take (left click, double left click, right click, or cancel).
- Eye Control keyboard – To use the keyboard, select the keyboard from the launchpad, and dwell at the characters you want to type. You can type numbers and symbols on the &123 page and function keys on the Fn page. We currently support the EN-US keyboard layout.
- Eye Control shape-writing – Type faster with your eyes by shape-writing on the Eye Control keyboard. To use shape writing, turn it on from the keyboard settings (found on the Fn page). Once it is on, you can form words by dwelling at the first and last character of the word, and simply glancing at letters in between. A hint of the word predicted will appear on the last key of the word. If the prediction was incorrect, you can simply select an alternative prediction provided.
- Eye Control text-to-speech – Communicate with your family and friends in person by using text-to-speech. To use text-to-speech, select text-to-speech from the launchpad. From here, you can use the keyboard to type sentences and have it spoken aloud. At the top are phrases that are spoken aloud immediately and can be edited to say different words. This uses the default text-to-speech voices, which can be changed in Settings > Time & Language > Speech > Text-to-speech.
Known Issues with Eye Tracking:
- Eye tracking does not work well in direct sunlight. The device may require new calibration when moving to a location with different lighting conditions.
- The launchpad partially blocks the Tobii UI during device calibration. To work around this, turn off Eye Control during calibration and turn it back on when you are done. You can also use touch or mouse to reposition the UI during calibration.
- Sometimes shape-writing can get stuck on. You can fix this by dwelling at the shape-writing icon to turn it on and off again
- Sometimes the reposition UI icon in the launchpad takes focus after exiting text-to-speech
- Currently, Eye Control works with select Tobii hardware. We are open to working with additional hardware vendors to provide customers a broader set of hardware options to enable this experience.
The Fall Creators Update is just around the corner, do you believe the Windows Insider team has any more tricks up their sleeves? Let us know what you think about the new feature and upcoming release in the comments below.