How to choose the right eye tracker for your research with our all-in-one guide

We will walk you through 4 common questions to consider when choosing an eye tracking system so that you find the eye tracker that best fits your needs. 

Academic Research Eye tracker

With a portfolio ranging from a few thousand dollars/Euros/pounds and up, many aspiring eye tracking researchers first ask, “How much do your eye trackers cost?” While the budget of the hardware is important, it shouldn’t be the primary consideration. Investing in a non-optimal eye tracker could end up costing you later, in wasted time, resources, and grant funding. 

In this guide we will walk you through 4 common questions to consider when budgeting for a new eye tracking system, so you choose the right eye tracker the first time. 

1. What types of stimuli are you showing your participants? 

Whether you need a screen-based or wearable eye tracker will be determined by the stimuli and paradigm you use for your research. The stimuli can be presented on a computer screen or in a variety of real-world settings, or both! 

2. What kind of participants are you testing? 

Your choice of the right eye tracker may be determined based on the test group that you are planning to study. This is especially important if your population includes members of special groups, like infants, children, aging adults, people with certain medical disorders, or nonhuman primates. 

3. What kind of testing environment are your participants in? 

Will you be using your eye tracker in a traditional laboratory, school classroom, hospital, or elsewhere out in the field? Your choice of an eye tracker may be influenced if you need it to be portable and protected during car or plane travel to far off research destinations.  

4. Which metrics are the most important to measure your construct of interest? 

The most common eye movements or measurements reported are fixations, saccades, smooth pursuit, and pupil dilation. But each of these metrics may require different sampling rate frequencies, or the number of data points you will get per second. Since Tobii eye tracker sampling frequencies can range from 50 to 1200 Hz, you can find the right fit.

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About the author

Dr. Marisa Biondi is a Senior Research Scientist at Tobii Pro. She focuses on building an eye tracking community, through partnerships with researchers hoping to implement eye tracking in their work or by supporting existing customers in acquiring knowledge or additional grants. Dr. Biondi has a Ph.D. in Psychological & Brain Sciences from Texas A&M University and used fNIRS and eye tracking to study the functional organization of the developing human brain.