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What to expect from your remote eye-tracker when participants are unrestrained

Niehorster, Diederick C LU ; Cornelissen, Tim H W; Holmqvist, Kenneth LU ; Hooge, Ignace T C and Hessels, Roy S (2017) In Behavior Research Methods & Instrumentation
Abstract

The marketing materials of remote eye-trackers suggest that data quality is invariant to the position and orientation of the participant as long as the eyes of the participant are within the eye-tracker's headbox, the area where tracking is possible. As such, remote eye-trackers are marketed as allowing the reliable recording of gaze from participant groups that cannot be restrained, such as infants, schoolchildren and patients with muscular or brain disorders. Practical experience and previous research, however, tells us that eye-tracking data quality, e.g. the accuracy of the recorded gaze position and the amount of data loss, deteriorates (compared to well-trained participants in chinrests) when the participant is unrestrained and... (More)

The marketing materials of remote eye-trackers suggest that data quality is invariant to the position and orientation of the participant as long as the eyes of the participant are within the eye-tracker's headbox, the area where tracking is possible. As such, remote eye-trackers are marketed as allowing the reliable recording of gaze from participant groups that cannot be restrained, such as infants, schoolchildren and patients with muscular or brain disorders. Practical experience and previous research, however, tells us that eye-tracking data quality, e.g. the accuracy of the recorded gaze position and the amount of data loss, deteriorates (compared to well-trained participants in chinrests) when the participant is unrestrained and assumes a non-optimal pose in front of the eye-tracker. How then can researchers working with unrestrained participants choose an eye-tracker? Here we investigated the performance of five popular remote eye-trackers from EyeTribe, SMI, SR Research, and Tobii in a series of tasks where participants took on non-optimal poses. We report that the tested systems varied in the amount of data loss and systematic offsets observed during our tasks. The EyeLink and EyeTribe in particular had large problems. Furthermore, the Tobii eye-trackers reported data for two eyes when only one eye was visible to the eye-tracker. This study provides practical insight into how popular remote eye-trackers perform when recording from unrestrained participants. It furthermore provides a testing method for evaluating whether a tracker is suitable for studying a certain target population, and that manufacturers can use during the development of new eye-trackers.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Eye-tracking, Head movement, Head orientation, Developmental studies, Data quality, Clinical groups
in
Behavior Research Methods & Instrumentation
pages
15 pages
publisher
The Psychonomic Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85012868190
ISSN
1554-351X
DOI
10.3758/s13428-017-0863-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
40b7498c-fc75-4d92-97d8-5a6b956e9ccb
date added to LUP
2017-02-18 10:45:01
date last changed
2018-01-07 11:50:55
@article{40b7498c-fc75-4d92-97d8-5a6b956e9ccb,
  abstract     = {<p>The marketing materials of remote eye-trackers suggest that data quality is invariant to the position and orientation of the participant as long as the eyes of the participant are within the eye-tracker's headbox, the area where tracking is possible. As such, remote eye-trackers are marketed as allowing the reliable recording of gaze from participant groups that cannot be restrained, such as infants, schoolchildren and patients with muscular or brain disorders. Practical experience and previous research, however, tells us that eye-tracking data quality, e.g. the accuracy of the recorded gaze position and the amount of data loss, deteriorates (compared to well-trained participants in chinrests) when the participant is unrestrained and assumes a non-optimal pose in front of the eye-tracker. How then can researchers working with unrestrained participants choose an eye-tracker? Here we investigated the performance of five popular remote eye-trackers from EyeTribe, SMI, SR Research, and Tobii in a series of tasks where participants took on non-optimal poses. We report that the tested systems varied in the amount of data loss and systematic offsets observed during our tasks. The EyeLink and EyeTribe in particular had large problems. Furthermore, the Tobii eye-trackers reported data for two eyes when only one eye was visible to the eye-tracker. This study provides practical insight into how popular remote eye-trackers perform when recording from unrestrained participants. It furthermore provides a testing method for evaluating whether a tracker is suitable for studying a certain target population, and that manufacturers can use during the development of new eye-trackers.</p>},
  author       = {Niehorster, Diederick C and Cornelissen, Tim H W and Holmqvist, Kenneth and Hooge, Ignace T C and Hessels, Roy S},
  issn         = {1554-351X},
  keyword      = {Eye-tracking,Head movement,Head orientation,Developmental studies,Data quality,Clinical groups},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {02},
  pages        = {15},
  publisher    = {The Psychonomic Society},
  series       = {Behavior Research Methods & Instrumentation},
  title        = {What to expect from your remote eye-tracker when participants are unrestrained},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13428-017-0863-0},
  year         = {2017},
}