Gaze and dwell

When hands are occupied with tools and parts, gestures can be tedious or impossible. Voice commands may also be unreliable in certain contexts, for example under excessively loud conditions. Gaze and dwell offers a familiar and easy-to-master mechanism for working heads-up and hands-free on HoloLens. Additionally, gaze and dwell is a great fallback, which is independent of noise interference or silence constraints in the operating environment. We distinguish two variants of gaze and dwell: Head-gaze and dwell and Eye-gaze and dwell.


Gaze and dwell excels in scenarios where a person's hands are busy with other tasks, and voice isn't 100% reliable or available because of environmental or social constraints. A good example is a person wearing a HoloLens to overlay reference information while repairing a car engine. Their hands are busy with tools or supporting their body as they lean into the engine compartment. The garage space is loud, with the constant banging and buzzing of tools, making voice commands difficult. Gaze and dwell allows the person using the HoloLens to confidently navigate their reference material without interrupting their workflow.

Device support

Input model HoloLens (1st gen) HoloLens 2 Immersive headsets
Head-gaze and dwell ✔️ Recommended ✔️ Recommended ✔️ Recommended
Eye-gaze and dwell ❌ Not available ✔️ Recommended ❌ Not available

See also