Build 16257 of Windows 10 brings along several new features and improvements. The first is an eye tracking feature (in beta) designed to help users with disabilities that prevent normal use of other already existing assistance software. Not only is it a genuinely needed feature for some users, it may turn out to be a useful way to accomplish certain tasks faster.
In order to use eye tracking, special hardware and associated drivers are required. Currently, the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C is the only option. Microsoft has plans to add support for other Tobii hardware in the near future and is open to working with other partners.
Once all hardware is connected and proper software is installed, the Eye control beta feature can be enabled through Settings.
A virtual mouse and keyboard can be operated with your eyes in a very intuitive manner. Staring at a particular point on screen will allow standard mouse actions to be performed with the help of an on screen control box.
Borrowing an idea from many smartphone keyboards, shape-writing acts very similarly to Swype. A user can make a long glance at the first letter of a word, quickly look over each letter, and then pause briefly on the last letter of the word.
For a feature still in beta, it seems to work reasonably well. A minor problem is that re-calibration of the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C is required when lighting conditions change too much. Additionally, the shape-writing feature can be stuck on, but toggling the setting can correct the issue. Other minor software problems related to freezing and crashing exist with Tobii UI.
If eye tracking is not of interest, a much needed customization option has been added. Console windows now support full 24-bit color and are no longer limited to only 16 colors. Demonstrating the new feature could prove difficult as there are not currently applications that use the new colors.
To remedy this, Windows Subsystem for Linux was used to launch a shell that already had support for 24-bit RGB colors. Many older Linux distributions still rely on 256 color schemes within console windows, but widespread support for 24-bit color is expected on all distributions that may gain Windows support.
Also in build 16257, Microsoft Edge has been updated with a new UI based on the Fluent Design System. The tab bar gains transparency support and appears to have a hint of depth to it. Easier modification of URLs and other minor bug fixes were also provided.
A full list of improvements and changes can be found on Microsoft's Windows Blog. The next Creators Update coming this fall may bring some or all of the changes found in this Insider Preview build.