Introduction to Eye Tracking Technology

May 9, 2022

Eye tracking is an innovative area of technology that is rapidly gaining traction. By analyzing people’s eye and head movements, we can uncover insights regarding participant behavior and mindset during a wide variety of situations. 

These are just a few examples of how researchers are using eye tracking to gain a greater understanding of human behavior: / Some situations where eye tracking is used, and examples of insights include: 

  • Increasing the understanding of ocular disease and improve its treatment. 
  • Identifying various neurological conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Training tomorrow’s pilots in aviation and aerospace by helping them correct their scanning techniques for future flights. 
  • Training train engineers to enhance train operation safety 
  • Improving automotive simulations and contributing to a greater understanding of human behavior in vehicles. 
  • Supporting people with limited mobility by assisting them to express their thoughts, needs, ideas and feelings through their eye movements in an effort to help improve their quality of life.

The basic concept of optical eye tracking is capturing and analyzing usually infrared light reflected from the eye using remote cameras or another optical sensor. Mathematical calculations are then performed to determine where the eye was looking. 

For example, this is how a camera-based, AI-powered eye tracking system (such as what Smart Eye develops) works:

  1. The first step is to provide our eye tracking systems with data to analyze. To capture images of the eye and other facial features, we use entirely camera-based monitoring. These cameras operate in the infrared spectrum and are therefore able to work in various lighting conditions. 
  2. Once the images have been extracted, they are run through software that tracks the person’s gaze and eye movements.  
  3. Meanwhile, AI-supported algorithms interpret the details of the face captured–like the person’s state of mind or mood. For every time the system identifies a face, it gets to know its unique characteristics a little better, enabling higher efficiency.

Learn more about eye tracking in this download – A Guide to Selecting Eye Tracking Solutions.