Selecting an eye tracker that is going power your research can be a difficult task. With countless vendors offering a solution, here are some tips to help ensure you never ask the question, “what did I just buy?”
Remote vs mobile
Depending on the nature of your experimental design, it may make most sense to purchase one or the other of these trackers. Remote trackers are great for fixed displays and other screens, while mobile trackers excel in situations where a participant needs to freely move. You can read more about the differences between these two types of eye trackers on our blog.
Any device can only be as good as the software that is used to collect & analyze data. Choosing a platform that offers real-time viewing of data, markers, areas of interest (AOIs) and more is critically important to a good solution. In addition to preset metrics, ensuring you have access to raw information can also be helpful in calculating advanced metrics as well as evaluating accuracy of the data. Software that provides quality scores during capture is helpful to determine you are getting suitable data while a test is ongoing.
The build quality and reputation of a tracker is also something to consider –a good way to determine what is acceptable in your particular discipline is to check out papers accepted into top journals using eye trackers.
Sampling rate is important to consider, especially if there are particular metrics you are looking for. If you need granular data on saccades, for example, it’s a good idea to pick a higher-Hertz tracker at 60 or above. If you are just looking for general fixation and gaze points, 30 Hertz works in many situations. However, it’s best to consult with an expert prior to purchasing to see what type of output you will need for your experiments.
Knowing who will be able to help in a pinch is important when it comes to eye trackers. Will the tech support understand what I am trying to do with my experiment? Will they be able to quickly fix the problem? Keeping you collecting data is critical.
What can I do with this in the Future?
Having the ability to scale your eye tracking lab in the future is also a good point to consider. For instance, having the right hardware and software combination can allow you to actually add on sensors to combine with eye tracking in the future, like EEG, Facial expression analysis and more.