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Facebook recently acquired a Danish tech company Eye Tribe that boasts of a technology that can track eye movements and gestures. Google also acquired Eyefluence, a competitor to Eye Tribe, a company into a similar technology. So what is it of Eye Tracking that is attracting these behemoths?
What is Eye Tracking? It is the process of measuring the activities of an eye (point of gaze) or motion of the eye relative to the head. In this process the eye tracking device collects the data using the head mounted or remote eye tracker. Light source and camera are the two most common components of an eye tracker. The data collected via this tracker is analysed to understand the visual behaviour of people.
As an example, assume you run an e-commerce company. Eye tracking data can deliver valuable insights into the gaze pattern of your website visitors. How long does it take them to find a specific product on your site? Where do your website visitors look? What do they look at and how much time do they spend looking at it?
2 essential types of Eye Trackers. Remote eye trackers (also referred to as stationary or screen-based) and mobile eye trackers (head-mounted).
What’s getting recorded? Two of the most common metrics this way of study throws up includesSource: IMOTIONS Biometric Research Platform
Gaze points leading to fixations. Gaze points constitute the basic unit of measure. Gaze points can be aggregated into fixations.
Heat maps. Heat maps visualize fixation across different respondents.
While these metrics are commonly used to track visual attention, there are far advanced ones that take into account pupil size dilation, blinks, amongst others.
Some of the key players participating in the evolving dynamics of the eye tracking systems market are Seeing Machines, Tobii AB, Sensomotoric Instruments GmbH, Smart Eye AB, LC Technologies Inc., iMotions Inc., EyeTech Digital Systems Inc., Polhemus among many others. According to the market research report, Eye Tracking Market – Global Trend & Forecast to 2020, the eye tracking market is estimated to reach USD 1 billion by 2020, recording a CAGR of 35% between 2015 and 2020. The use of this technology is evolving by the day and it is expected to traverse fields including healthcare, education besides the more commonly understood areas such as virtual reality, gaming, advertising and so on. The coming few years would most surely expect this game changer to creep into industries, with benefits unheard off.