Eye Tracking: The What, Why, and How

Eye tracking is a technology that involves the observation and measurement of eye positions and eye movement. It allows for the tracking of the direction and duration of gaze at a given point and the measurement of blinking patterns. In other words, eye tracking can detect a user’s presence, visual attention, and gaze duration.

With eye tracking, researchers can uncover unique insights about human behavior and the underlying wide variety of thought processes. Researchers can also use this technology to identify learning patterns and social interaction methods.

Eye tracking, gaze detection, and deep-learning technology

The recent growth of artificial intelligence, specifically deep learning, has led to the use of eye-tracking technology informed by deep learning technology. For psychophysics studies and neuromarketing applications, modern gaze tracking provides vital input, and a deep learning-based approach extracts points of interest from videos, obtains facial landmarks critical to gaze location, and estimates the point of gaze on a computer screen.


Eye tracking technology provides businesses with many advantages. The technology has resulted in an increase of less expensive, high-quality market research findings that can be used by marketers to understand what consumers are looking at and how they respond to what they see. This allows companies to better understand consumer choice behavior. Additionally, the technology has  led to advancements in various other areas, including in the development of assistive technology for persons with limited mobility and safety innovations for organizations operating in hazardous work environments.

Industry use

Eye tracking and gaze detection technology is quickly becoming an essential capability. In turn, it has seen extensive use across various fields, including security, psychology, computer vision, medical diagnosis, and research in marketing.


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Researchers use eye tracking to study people’s eye movements and identify where (and when) users are looking. Eye tracking technology can be leveraged as a tool for visual behavior study, visual stimuli response measurement, group behavior comparison, and many other research and business fields of interest.

For example, the technology can help website researchers understand where visitors click, scroll, and hover their mouse, and which elements of a webpage or an advertisement draw people’s attention the most. Using this information, companies can design more user-friendly websites and create more effective advertising. In addition, eye tracking technology provides an opportunity for researchers to analyze human behavior and better understand why a person makes certain decisions when reacting to something within their field of vision.


Retailers can also use eye tracking to study numerous topics related to consumer behavior, information acquisition, and decision making, and gain valuable insights into customer preferences. By analyzing shopper behavior and the buying decision process, retailers can make remarkable improvements regarding product display, packaging design, and more.

Video games and entertainment

Cutting-edge, immersive gaming features, such as enveloping graphics and extended gaze control, are made possible with the help of eye tracking. With the aid of this technology, users are able to more deeply explore and interact with the game environment simply by looking at various in-game elements.


Eye tracking can help researchers obtain information about a driver’s attention and concentration. The technology identifies which factors may cause distractions and issues warnings to help avoid car accidents. Hence, eye tracking can play a significant role in increasing safety in the automotive industry.


Eye tracking technology allows for people with disabilities to better manage computers and mobile devices, and thus perform a range of computer-related tasks. For example, by way of eye tracking technology, people with oral speech impairments can communicate with machines through eye movements. Eye tracking has already shown itself capable of vastly improving accessibility, and, with further advancements, it holds even greater potential to aid those with disabilities.


In psychology, gaze tracking empowers and provides crucial input in the study of cognitive processes. By measuring eye movements, researchers can analyze ongoing mental processes, such as problem-solving, decision-making, perception, and attention.


In neuroscience, eye tracking technology facilitates the investigation of many aspects of visual and neurological functions, as well as neurological diseases based on the visual processing of eye movements. Eye tracking can bring about the early detection of diseases such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and dyslexia.

Neuromarketing and advertising

Neuro marketers and advertisers have also started using eye tracking technology to study customers’ visual attention. Gaze tracking analyses can provide detailed insights for both online and offline applications, and help discover what customers are naturally most interested in (and what they might ignore altogether). In addition, neuro marketers now use eye tracking and facial coding to identify and measure emotions in instances of multimedia stimuli.


As you can see, eye tracking applications are numerous, encapsulating both research and commercial use, and they are becoming increasingly common in many fields of life. Eye tracking technology provides valuable insights for market research, human behavior, and user experience. These insights stand to benefit a wide range of business fields.

The post Eye Tracking: The What, Why, and How first appeared on GreenBook.

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