If you're at all curious about how the PlayStation Eye works, Penny Arcade's got you covered. Har har. Now if you really want to know how it works, check out this interview with the creator to get an insight into their decision making and see what improvements they've made over the EyeToy.
If the comic had alluded to Space Oddyssey 2001 then the connection to LOTR would have been mostly lost and the absurdity of the product wouldn't come across. The use of a loud grunting noise makes it look stupid and therefore gives the comic its comedic effect.