Choosing the Right Eye Tracker

Choosing the Right Eye Tracker

Visual tracking is a quickly growing area of research and information. If you want to apply it to your industry or field, however, the first step you need to take is choosing the right eye-tracking device. There are many models available – and more being created everyday – but visual tracking hardware as a whole often fits into one of two categories: screen-based trackers or eye-tracking glasses. Both are widely used, but each type of tracker has its own advantages and disadvantages. Read on to learn more and make an informed decision.

Screen-Based Eye Trackers

Also referred to as desktop, stationary, or remote eye trackers, screen-based eye-tracking devices are mounted on or near a computer screen, often below the monitor. These trackers require the participant to sit in front of the monitor and interact with screen-based content such as pictures, videos, websites, and more.

While desktop eye trackers limit complete freedom of movement compared to eye-tracking glasses, most screen-based devices have a wide enough collection area to allow the participant to move naturally in their seat without attachments. This type of device is most often used in a controlled lab environment, which can be an advantage depending on the type of study you plan to conduct.

Head-Mounted Eye Trackers

Eye-tracking glasses are fitted near the participant’s eyes, with the equipment typically mounted on or integrated into an eyeglasses frame. This setup allows the participant to move freely, making it the ideal choice for studying tasks performed in a natural environment, such as grocery shopping in a market. It allows the subject to look around and act naturally in the real world.

The nature of a head-mounted tracker means it is prone to shifting, particularly if the user participates in an activity like playing sports. This can affect the data collected. The compact, mobile design means many eye-tracking glasses also are made with lower quality cameras compared to screen-based trackers and therefore collection lower quality data.

How to Choose the Right Tracker

The distinction between eye trackers is quite clear, but if your study is not limited to only computer stimuli or real world situations, then we recommend choosing a screen-based eye-tracking device. It offers greater accuracy than a pair of eye-tracking glasses.

When looking for other features in a potential eye-tracking device, keep in mind that you want equipment that utilizes a high-quality camera and infrared light. The process of visual tracking measures the position and movements of a user’s eyes by projecting a light toward the pupil, which causes a reflection that can be tracked by the camera. Infrared light offers increased contrast for more accurate tracking, and because it is not visible to humans, it won’t distract your study participant from their task.

You also have a choice when it comes to features like sampling rate. Many eye trackers come with a sampling rate between 30 and 60 hertz, while research-grade equipment often samples between 120 and 1000 hertz depending on the study. Gazepoint offers eye-tracking devices at either 60 Hz or 150 Hz so you can choose your hardware based on your needs and budget.

Apply Eye Tracking to Your Field

Once you invest in high-quality eye-tracking technology, there are many ways in which it can be applied. We encourage you to explore our site to learn more about the possibilities, from healthcare and education to usability and marketing studies. You can also visit our publications page to find studies that have used our screen-based eye trackers to find their results.

When you’re ready to move forward,you can find the eye-tracking hardware and software you need from Gazepoint. Place your order today!

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