What is eye tracking?
Eye tracking is a sensor technology that monitors and measure eye activity when presented with a stimulus. Eye tracking as a research tool is useful to find out how we deal with the vast amount of information in our daily lives.
Research in this area commonly aim to gain insight on the thought processes, study human behaviour out of the lab, analyze patterns of visual attention, whether subjects use a focused, central vision or peripheral vision when doing an activity, or comfort level of the subject. This is typical done as subjects are performing specific tasks. At a glance, eye tracking as a research tool can be applicable to research on:
- Virtual (Online) shopping
- Web browsing
- Sports Research
- Driving Test Field
- Virtual Reality
- Marketing Research
- Web development
Eye Tracking in Virtual Shopping
Eye Tracking in Virtual Shopping sites like Ebay and Amazon are slowly gaining traction as companies wish to study user behaviour on their sites. Eye Tracking allows for natural, unhindered interactions, and enables researchers to identify initial, unfiltered responses to their website. This provides researchers an intimate study of user behaviour as compared to online data like mouse tracking.
For example, if users get the task to “purchase a laptop”’, then Eye-Trackers help us to understand how people search for offers, compare and purchase items. Eye tracking creates very nice gaze patterns showing where the subject has been looking and for how long, and if he or she needed to look at something several times.
It isn’t enough to simply track eye movements however. Eye tracking oftens aims to study human behavior out of the lab, or real-world behaviour. Therefore, if subjects do not respond honestly and accurately due to artificial environments or discomfort, eyetracking reading can be flawed, reducing the ecological validity of the data.
Even with acquiring all of these essential data, there is always the possibility that the user did not understand the task or the information shown on the shopping page. Therefore, researchers would turn to other research methods like electroencephalogram (EEG) to gain a better understanding of the data.
It can be essential to include a second dimension in your readings to draw conclusions about the relevance of individual images.
As Jürgen Bluhm from Tobii, puts it: “If a potential buyer looks at a product, he or she notices it, but you cannot make a statement about how buyers feel while they are looking at the product. It is the same in neuromarketing. Visual attention does not tell us if the advertisement creates positive or negative emotions, but can provide extra information to help us infer their reactions to the product. Other electroencephalogram (EEG) activity can help us determine if an advertisement makes them feel confused or bored. For most of my customers, the inclusion of biometric data such as heart rate (ECG), brain activity (EEG) or the pulse becomes more and more important in research.”
EEG and Eyetracking
Wireless electroencephalogram (EEG) and biosignal acquisition systems are becoming more important in neurophysiological research, especially when studies tend to take part in the field instead of in the lab. Furthermore, such behaviour studies is not just limited to eye movement, but requires synchronizing eyetracking data with EEG and other biosignals such as pulse, skin connectivity, respiration rate or heart rate for the study to be meaningful.
Researchers were able to measure web user click intention behaviour based on merging features extracted from pupil dilation and EEG responses. This opened insights on web user behaviour, apps, games and advertisements, to improve website structure and content, understanding decision making and buyer process, or even to better utilise targeted advertising.
Using g.Nautilus wireless EEG in addition to Eye Tracking, it is possible to measure what brain areas respond to interactive and digital interfaces.
Other specific research purpose for combining eyetracking and EEG include controlling fixation, detecting signal distortions from microsaccades, improving ocular artifact correction, measuring saccadic reaction times, presenting stimuli gaze-contingently, simultaneous pupillometry, or improving brain-computer interfaces.
Fortunately, there is already a ready-made solution in the market. g.Nautilus wireless EEG system works nicely together with Eye-Trackers and video cameras so that electrophysiological parameters can be analyzed for neuromarketing applications.
The tiny and lightweight device is attached to the EEG cap to avoid cable movements and to allow completely free movements. In combination with g.tec’s active electrode technology, you will get top quality EEG recordings from 64/32/16/8 channels within few minutes.
Using g.Nautilus wireless EEG in addition to Eye Tracking, it is possible to measure what brain areas respond to interactive and digital interfaces. If you are considering to use eye tracking with EEG, feel free to contact us for a consultation.
www.blog.gtec.at Human Centered Research Eye Trackins & BCI
www.tobii.com What is Eye Tracking
www.sciencedirect.com: Combining eye tracking, pupil dilation and EEG analysis
www.sporttechie.com Eye Tracking tech Hockey goalies aims to learn how they think