Setting up an External presenter recording with E-Prime

Tobii Pro Lab E-Prime Extensions Screen Based Eye Trackers

This Learn article will show you how to configure your hardware and Tobii Pro Lab to record E-Prime using an External presenter project.

The External presenter project enables you to use Pro Lab to record E-Prime's experiment runs* and later use it to pre-process and analyze eye tracking data, allowing you to combine Pro Lab's analysis tools with the power of E-Prime's experiment design components. 

*Unlike the E-Prime and Tobii Pro Studio integration, Tobii Pro Lab does not perform a screen capture the stimulus display but rather recreates the stimulus display based on the stimulus/event related information that is sent to it by E-Prime.

To be able to run E-Prime together with a Tobii Pro eye tracker and Pro Lab you need to use E-Prime 3.0 together with the E-Prime Extension for Tobii Pro 3.2. This extension adds two package calls and two devices to the standard E-Prime package call and Device selection:

  • The TobiiEyeTracker Package contains routines and settings that allow E-Prime to connect, manage and interact with Tobii Pro eye trackers.
  • The TobiiProLab Package contains routines and settings that manage the interaction with Pro Lab. 

To build the E-Prime experiment you will use a combination of these two types of packages. The TobiiEyeTracker routines will be used mainly to manage and perform the eye tracker calibration, whereas the TobiiProLab routines will be used to trigger the Pro Lab recording and send the relevant experimental design information.


Table 1. Overview of the E-Prime's package call function according to the experiment phase - integration with Pro Lab.
 Experiment phase Software Package
Implement your experimental design E-Prime TobiiProLab
Implement and run gaze contingency/interaction components** E-Prime TobiiEyeTracker
Implement and run the eye tracker calibration E-Prime TobiiEyeTracker
Run the stimulus presentation, trigger the Pro Lab recording, and send stimulus/event information E-Prime TobiiProLab, TobiiEyeTracker**
Record the eye tracking data and E-Prime stimulus/event information Pro Lab  
Data pre-processing and analysis Pro Lab, Matlab, R  

This integration supports a single computer hardware configuration, where both E-Prime and Pro Lab are installed and running on the same machine.

In the next section, you will learn how to set up the hardware configuration and install the software. These instructions assume that you will use a single eye tracker connected to your test computer.

Setup your eye tracker and computer

Check your eye tracker and computer requirements 

Before installing your software and configuring the eye tracker, please make sure that:

  • Your computer follows the system recommendations of the software. The computer performance should be optimized for the Tobii Pro Lab requirements. 
  • You have administrator rights for the computer you are using to be able to install and run the different software.
  • The screen used for presenting the stimuli has the size and form factor supported by your eye tracker.
  • Your firewall allows access for the software.
  • Your computer has a supported USB port with the latest drivers installed. The USB port needs to support the E-Prime license dongle requirements, and in case you are using a USB eye tracker, the eye tracker port requirements (read the relevant information here Learn section articles).
  • Download the Pro Eye Tracker Manager (version 1.11 or newer) installer. 

Once you have confirmed this information and downloaded the necessary applications. Start by setting up and configuring your hardware system.

Single computer setup

Connect the eye tracker and test computer

Make sure you have downloaded and installed the latest Tobii Pro Eye Tracker Manager. You will use this application to configure and update your eye tracker firmware. 

  1. Connect your peripherals (i.e. keyboard, mouse and/or other peripherals that you will use during your eye tracking experiments) and power cable to the test computer.
  2. Assemble or mount the eye tracker. For more information read the eye tracker user manual (User manual download)
  3. Connect the LAN cable (or USB cable if you are using a USB eye tracker) and video cable to the eye tracker and the computer. See figure above.
  4. Turn on your computer and your eye tracker (if applicable).
  5. Configure the eye tracker using the Tobii Pro Eye Tracker Manual application.

For more information or troubleshooting read the relevant eye tracker Learn section articles and FAQs at the Tobii Pro Customer Portal.

Install the software: 

Before installing make sure your test computer is connected to the internet. You will need the connection to activate the Tobii Pro Lab license. If your lab setup requires that your data collection computer is disconnected from the internet, you can disconnect it once the activation is done.

  1. Install E-prime 3.0 on the test computer. For the procedure read the E-Prime Getting Started article Installation, Registration, Validation, and Updates.
  2. Connect the E-Prime dongle to one of the USB ports of the computer and install the dongle driver. For the procedure read the E-Prime Getting Started article Installation, Registration, Validation, and Updates.
  3. Install E-Prime Extensions for Tobii Pro 3.2 on the test computer. For the procedure read chapter 2 of the E-Prime Extensions for Tobii Pro User Manual.
  4. Install Tobii Pro Lab 1.111 (or higher) on the test computer and activate the license. For the procedure read the learn article entitled Installing and activating Tobii Pro Lab.


Setup your Pro Lab Project

Pro Lab External Presenter project

Next, you will learn how to prepare Pro Lab to record the E-Prime stimulus presentation and associated information.

  1. Open Tobii Pro Lab.
  2. In the Create new Project section, select the External Presenter project type.
  3. Type your project name and select a folder location on your computer for the Project.
  4. Click Create when you are done.
  5. Next, Click Record to open the Record tab. Ensure that Pro Lab is connected to the eye tracker in the Eye Tracker card. The External presenter card stays red with a “not connected” status until the E-Prime experiment begins.
  6. Pro Lab is now ready to record. Go to E-Prime to start the experiment.
Record tab ready to record

Connect E-Prime to Pro Lab and the eye tracker

Once your Pro Lab project is ready, open your E-Prime eye tracking experiment and connect E-Prime to Pro Lab and your eye tracker:

  1. Open the E-prime project that contains the desired experiment.
  2. Double-click the Experiment object in the Experiment Explorer to open the Experiment Object Properties dialog.
  3. Click on the Devices tab then click Add... 
  4. Select the TobiiEyeTracker device in the Add Device dialog. Click OK.
  5. Verify that the TobiiEyeTracker device is listed last under the name Column and is checked.
  6. Next double-clicking on the TobiiEyeTracker to display the TobiiEyeTracker Device Properties.
  7. If the eye tracker is correctly configured, it will show automatically in the Eye Tracker dropdown list.
  8. Choose the sampling frequency of the eye tracker by selecting it in the Frequency dropdown.
  9. Select the presentation screen, by choosing a display option in the Display dropdown.
  10. Specify the maximum buffer size for your eye tracking samples, 100000 is the default value. If you wish to change the buffer size, try to match it to your trial duration. For more information please read the E-Prime Extensions for Tobii Pro 3.2 User Manual.
  11. Once you are done, click OK, to accept the changes and close the TobiiEyeTracker Properties dialog.
  12. Click Add... and this time select the TobiiProLab device. Click OK.
  13. Verify that the TobiiProLab device is listed last under the name Column and is checked.
  14. Double-clicking on the TobiiProLab device. to display the TobiiProLab Device Properties.
  15. Type “localhost” in the Host property box.
  16. Select the default value 8080 for your Port number, unless otherwise specified, such as the rare occasions when port 8080 is busy with other applications.
  17. Once you are done, click OK, to accept the changes and close the TobiiProLab Properties dialog.
  18. Click OK once more to close the Experiment Object Properties dialog.

For more details please read the E-Prime Extensions for Tobii Pro 3.2 User Manual.

TobiiEyeTracker Device properties

TobiiEyeTracker device properties dialog.

TobiiProLab device

TobiiProLab device properties dialog.

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