What is eye tracking?
What is eye tracking?
Eye tracking, or gaze interaction, is a technology that's used to see where a person is looking on a computer screen. It can also be used to control a computer with your eyes instead of using a traditional keyboard and mouse, enabling individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities to live richer and more independent lives.
As simple as the concept may be, an enormous amount of research and development has gone into Tobii Dynavox eye trackers to make them work in a simple and unobtrusive way.
In order for eye tracking to work as accurately as possible, the eye tracker must know more about your eyes. That's why you need to do a calibration, when the eye tracker measures how your eyes reflect light. The calibration is done by following a point, video, or other graphic element that moves across the screen. The calibration data is combined with our unique 3D model of an eye to create an optimal eye tracking experience.
There are three ways of clicking when using gaze interaction. The method available depends on the application you use as well as your abilities:
Tobii eye trackers use a unique and very accurate 3D model of a human eye. This model holds information about the physical shape of an eye and how light is reflected and refracted, among other things. With this model you don’t need to keep your head still when using a Tobii eye tracker, in fact you can move your head freely without any significant loss of precision or accuracy. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with uncontrolled head movement, such as those with cerebral palsy or individuals with ALS who might adjust their position throughout the day.
For accurate eye tracking, the eye tracker needs to find your pupils (or more precisely, the relationship between the pupils and the glints, or reflections). This can be done through either bright or dark pupil tracking. Bright pupil tracking works similarly to when you get red eyes when using a camera with a flash. By placing the flash, or in this case the illuminators, farther away from the lens you can avoid this. This is dark pupil tracking.
Some people track better with dark pupil tracking, others with bright pupil tracking. Factors like pupil size, age and environmental lights affect how well you are tracked using either of the two methods. Tobii Dynavox eye trackers are unique in that they dynamically switch between bright and dark pupil tracking, so you will always have an optimized eye tracking experience.
There are different uses for eye tracking within the area of assistive technology:
Our eye tracking technology is designed with the following in mind:
Even though eye tracking may be a simple concept, it is a very complex and research-intense endeavor to make a product that is easy to use. We strive to make our eye tracking technology as simple as possible to use.
We have years of experience with eye tracking technology through our parent company Tobii, the world leader in eye tracking innovation for almost 20 years, including the development of outdoor eye tracking - the industry’s first eye tracker dedicated specifically to accessibility with the ability to control a device outdoors in bright sunlight.
All Tobii devices use the same core eye tracking technology, but in slightly different ways and for different applications. One of the benefits is that we are able to leverage each other’s strengths to innovate. What our colleagues learn in the field of commercial eye tracking for fast moving consumer goods may also be used within assistive technology – and vice versa.