Literally an eye phone, potentially a goldmine

Danish company’s new software enables users to control their phones with their pupils

Whether it's typing away at top speeds on our laptops or toggling at a map on our phones to zoom in and out, our fingers are exhausted by technology. But don't worry − Danish tech company The Eye Tribe is working hard to give your weary hands a rest and the software, according to industry experts, could be worth billions.

The group, headquartered in southwestern Copenhagen and founded in 2011 by four PhD students from the IT University of Copenhagen, has developed a technology that reads your eye's movements and translates them into cursor clicks and scrolls.

Earlier this year, The Eye Tribe received $800,000 (approximately 4.6 million kroner) in seed funding to develop its eye-controlled technology.

"What we've developed is a software that enables eye-tracking or eye-control on standard, low-cost, higher volume products or components," Sebastian Sztuk, an engineer at the Eye Tribe, told Reuters. "So we can actually use the camera that is integrated in today's tablets and smartphones to do eye-control on a mobile device.”

The software reflects infrared light off the pupil of the eye and tracks it with the on-board camera, clicking where the user looks. The Eye Tribe has released a handful of videos that show the technology in full swing, showcasing users − without hands − scrolling through webpages, slicing fruit on the popular app Fruit Ninja, and hovering the cursor from app to app with a mere wander of an eye.

"Our software can then determine the location of the eyes and estimate where you're looking on the screen with an accuracy good enough to know which icon you're looking at,” the Eye Tribe website explains. Say goodbye to technological carpal tunnel!

Scandinavian company Venture Cup, a promoter of entrepreneurialism, is a keen supporter of The Eye Tribe. Mikkel Sorensen, the national manager of Venture Cup's Danish branch, told Reuters that eye-control is "a multi-billion dollar industry, and right now they [the Eye Tribe] have the chance to revolutionise the way that we work with smartphones. They're facing a massive market, and I do believe we could be looking at the entrepreneurial superstars of tomorrow as we've seen it with Skype."

Rumoured to be in talks with major smartphone and tablet manufacturers, the Eye Tribe hopes to have its first workable device with eye-control technology on the market in 2013.