Just a month ago, we took a peek at MSI's updated gaming laptop lineup. Among them, the GT72S Tobii looked the most intriguing. It promised competent eye tracking technology that would integrate with games for a more immersive experience. MSI officially launched the GT72S Tobii today, and we now have a better idea of its full specs and price.
Gaze upon this GT72S' substantial specs: an Intel Core i7-6820HK CPU with four cores and eight threads, clocked at 2.7GHz base and 3.6GHz Turbo speeds; a Nvidia GTX 980M graphics card with 8GB of VRAM, 32GB of DDR4 system RAM, and a storage section comprising a 256GB SSD, a 1TB hard drive, and a Blu-ray burner. Other niceties include G-Sync variable-refresh-rate techonlogy, a SteelSeries RGB LED backlit keyboard, and Killer DoubleShot networking.
That's all well and good, but the real star of this show is Tobii's eye tracking technology. The system integrated into MSI's notebook is comprised of "triple dual-lens near-IR illuminators," which the firm claims can do the eye tracking thing in any room and under any lighting conditions. Our intrepid editor-in-chief Jeff Kampman spent some time with the GT72S Tobii at CES, and he confirms that the technology works well.
Of course, great electronics are nothing but a waste of good silicon without software to go with them, and twitchy-eyed gamers will be happy to know that Tobii's tech is already built into or being integrated with a handful of major titles. The GT72S G Tobii comes bundled with a copy of The Division, and MSI says Assassin's Creed Syndicate and Rogue, ArmA III, and Elite: Dangerous are also tracking-enabled titles.
With the Tobii sensor on board, users can set up Windows 10's Hello feature to use their eyes as an additional authentication factor. Tobii also integrated its tech with Windows 10 itself—users should be able to highlight, select and delete items, go through folders and applications, and center and zoom maps by moving nothing more than their pupils.
If you're wondering how much this whole setup costs, the answer is $2,600. That may sound like an eye-watering price, but keep in mind that wad of cash gets you a laptop packing top-of-the-line mobile hardware. Setting up a similarly-specced version of the GT72S without the eye-tracking hardware at Newegg costs $2,461, so Tobii's technology doesn't add a huge price premium.
For those simply looking to add eye tracking to their existing setup, Tobii also sells a standalone tracking bar for $140 (or 119€.)