Eye tracking sometimes called gaze interaction is the capturing of eye movements and measuring of eye activity. An eye tracker is used to detect and measure the position of the eyes, where an individual is looking (also known as gaze point), and changes in gaze position.
Eye Tracking Frequently Asked Questions
General Eye Tracking Questions
Eye tracking is useful when studying a person’s gaze behavior, visual attention span and physiological (e.g., pupil diameter) metrics. Eye movement data offers a way to trace what the eyes are looking at, how we visually explore stimuli, when and why eyes become fixated on an object, and more.
Data captured helps identify visibility, engagement and viewing patterns. Analysis of this data can provide insights for varied applications, such as the study of neurodegenerative disorders.
Tracking eye positions and eye movements offer unique insights into a person’s attention, focus, emotional state, mental engagement and cognitive functions. There are a significant number of applications that can benefit from eye tracking, including e-learning, automotive infotainment systems, market research, advertising, biometrics security, healthcare, and more.
The technology can also be used to operate an onscreen mouse, keyboard and even wheelchairs with just the eyes. Eye movement recordings are translated into mouse commands, enabling touchless interaction with a device. But beyond simple commands, eye control brings independent mobility to people living with disabilities.
Our trackers include infrared light sources, a single camera and image processing algorithms. During the calibration process, the camera takes a series of high-resolution images of the eyes as they follow a stimulus. During this process, eyes are illuminated with infrared lights, creating a glint on each pupil. The camera records the corneal reflection patterns created by the lights, including saccadic movements (ballistic movements of the eyes), head thrusts, fixation points and scan pathways (a series of sequential fixations and saccades).
Our image processing algorithms then compute the relative distance of the light to the pupil and the center of the corneal reflection to determine the eyes’ position, plus when and where the user looks.
After you install a new eye tracker, the next step is to calibrate it. The accuracy and precision of eye tracking data depends on a successful calibration of the hardware. Calibrating an EyeTech eye tracker is an easy task that takes less than 2 minutes.
The calibration procedure measures your eye position and maps eye movements to targets with a known position. The calibration is done by following a point across the screen and fixating on a succession of calibration markers. Eye movement properties also known as gaze data is captured during this process. Gaze data includes fixation, saccades, and smooth pursuit measurements. Algorithms are then used to estimate a person’s point of gaze on a display.
To ensure recorded gaze data is both accurate and precise, your eye tracker requires calibration. Accuracy denotes how close the estimated gaze position on a display is with a user’s true gaze position (i.e. how close you are to a given mark). Precision denotes how reproducible measurements are (i.e. how close a second measurement is to the first one). High-precision eye trackers have minimal cursor bounce.
Each eye tracker comes with an installer program called QuickACCESS. The eye mouse software includes a basic toolbar used to launch your eye tracker calibration process. Once calibrated, the toolbar will show a green light when the system begins tracking your eyes and display a red light when you are outside the tracker’s boundaries.
Using the toolbar, you can enable/pause eye tracking, as well as perform mouse functions with your eyes. Basic toolbar functions include right click, double left click, drag-and-drop, zoom and more.
HARDWARE, OPERATION AND SETUP QUESTIONS
The EyeTech Digital Systems algorithm is very robust and can work on a variety of camera systems. We can work with you to help you select a camera system that will meet your needs.
Our system uses a single camera to do both single and binocular eye tracking.
Yes. The EyeTech Digital Systems algorithm works well with most glasses and contacts. Hard-transition bifocal glasses can cause problems. If bifocals are required, it is recommended the user upgrade to progressive bifocal lenses. Some hard contacts can cause problems. If contacts are required, it is recommended that the user wear soft contacts.
Our eye trackers will only track the first person found by the camera.
Eye tracking is not as pinpoint accurate as a traditional hand mouse; however, with practice, a majority of users experience high levels of accuracy. To put it into perspective — if a user is looking at an icon, the on-screen cursor may be a little high/low or left/right of where the user wants to place it (within the size of a dime on-screen). Variance is based on how well the user calibrates his/her eye tracker, as well as how smooth their eye movements are. With practice, users naturally learn to compensate, and adjust the position of the on-screen cursor to exactly where they want it to be. Click Here to watch a demonstration done by Robert Chappell, Founder/CEO of EyeTech Digital Systems, and see how accurate his on-screen cursor can be after running a successful calibration.
Yes, it is possible with a custom setup. Please note: there are some technical limitations. For further information on tracking over multiple monitors contact our technical support team.
Depending on which model you choose you can mount directly to the monitor using our VESA compatible mounting bracket or place the eye tracker directly below the monitor with a magnetic strip or using our flexible desktop stand. The desktop stand allows for greater adjustment of tilt and makes it easier for people of different heights to be tracked.
EyeTech Digital Systems’ eye tracking algorithm offers both close and long distance tracking (as close as 18 inches to as far as 10 feet away from the display). It really depends on the application and the model you choose.
Since the system uses an infrared camera and provides its own light source, you can track both in bright light conditions, as well as in complete darkness.
No. For optimal performance, we recommend the eye tracker be placed below the bottom edge of the monitor.
Yes. Since 1996, our engineering team has worked on dozens of projects in a variety of market applications. We offer flexible and affordable licensing options for both software and/or hardware solutions which can also be branded according to your needs. Our engineering team will work with your team every step of the way from selecting the right optics to developing custom software that is specific to your application. Our team of electrical and mechanical engineers is here to make your vision of adding eye tracking technology to your next products become a reality.
PURCHASING AND DEMONSTRATION QUESTIONS
At EyeTech Digital Systems, we have a worldwide distributor network along with many Universities and Technology Centers open to the public where interested users may be able to try out our technology. Contact us and we can put you in contact with your nearest distributor or demonstration center.
Yes. Medicare/Medicaid, VocRehab, Worker’s Compensation, health insurance and other private employer and government programs may pay for the eye tracking device if the user has a medical necessity. Contact us to discuss your options.
Yes. Our eye trackers easily connect to any screen, from small tablets and laptops all the way to large TV displays.
EyeTech Digital Systems offers a 2-year hardware warranty, and 2-years of free software updates.