The process of measuring the exact location of the retinas, its point of gaze is termed as eye tracking. This process can be done by using an eye tracker. This technology helps in tracking and recording the position of a person’s eye, along with its movements. The technology uses the infrared light in order to track the point of gaze by detecting the minute reflections in both the cornea and the pupils. The vector between the pupil and the cornea is tracked by an infrared camera. This process of tracking the optics of corneal reflection using infrared is called as pupil center corneal reflection (PCCR). The detection of the vector requires an infrared light source as it increases the accuracy of determining the gaze direction and optimized the measurement which is dependent of a clear demarcation of the pupil as well as the detection of the corneal reflection. This process cannot be followed through by simply using a normal light source as it generates contrast, which reduces the accuracy and determining the exact vector between the cornea and the pupil.
If we use the light source from the visible spectrum, it is most likely to generate a specular reflection that cannot be controlled. On the other hand, the infrared light enables a precise differentiation between the iris and the pupil. The significant factor that sets both apart is that the light source directly enters the pupil and is bounced off from the iris while the infrared light penetrates inside the iris as it is not visible by the human eye and hence prevents any distraction while tracking. There are numerous ways used for tracking the eye. These methods follow two principal types- glasses and screen based. This technology is used and implemented across a variety of fields and research areas. The differences in these processes can be distinguished on how they provide the calculated data.
- Eye tracking glasses
In this process, mobile devices are used in the setup. They are mounted on to the eyeglass frame and are enabled with respondents to move freely. This method is beneficial while performing tasks that require natural environment. The drawback of this technique is that the glasses could potentially shift while recoding in case there is large amount of movement.
- Screen-based eye trackers
This process uses respondents to sit in front of the monitor in order to interact with the content that is displayed on the screen. Even though this process requires specific conditions and require certain limits to be satisfied, yet the headbox is sufficiently large enough to offer the freedom of movement to the respondents.
There are few conditions that are taken in consideration to chose between the tracking glasses and the screen-based eye tracking. New devices to track the movement of the eye are being produced and launched continuously. If the respondent is going to sit in front of the computer for the full session, then it is preferable to use the screen-based eye tracker. In case the respondent wishes to have the freedom of movement in a natural or virtual reality, then a head-mounted system is preferred as it offers free mobility of head and body.
The technique of tracking the eye is used in various research fields and has numerous applications in the commercial sector. The primary objective of eye tracking is to collect detailed information about where an individual gaze his vision upon. This information is useful in a range of contexts from medical diagnosis to psychological research, and even in neuromarketing. In the medical realm, it is important to determine where an individual gaze as it shows the patient’s potential predictive power of eye tracking in diagnosing autism, as well as other few neurological diseases. In the fields of psychology, the eye tracking technique is used for determining and understanding how attention is distributed when an individual is given a visual stimulant. This technique is used in various psychological tests including Stroop test, Implicit Association test (IAT), Iowa Gambling test, and gaze contingency paradigms. On the other hand, the eye tracking technique is used in neuromarketing to follow the patterns of the people who shop. By obtaining a detailed information of how a shopper follows a particular pattern, it can be easy to implement optimal packaging designs, point of sales display, and store layout.
In conclusion, any company or organization can transform the technologies for accurate eye tracking. These technologies can be helpful in the fields of healthcare, psychology and neuromarketing. Several enterprises and corporation have invested in eye tracking market as its benefits far exceed its drawbacks. After exhaustive research, Allied Market Research has estimated that the global eye tracking market
would garner $1.82 billion by 2024, growing exponentially at a CAGR of 37.1% from 2018 to 2024. The market of eye tracking market has great potential and will increase at a steady pace as new technologies and innovative products are introduced in this market.