Eye tracking glasses at 120 Hz an alternative to 1000 Hz systems

Eye tracking glasses at 120 Hz an alternative to 1000 Hz systems

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

This assessment aligns with positive verdicts from other academic beta testers whose feedback, said SMI Product Manager Dr Arnd Rose, has already been used to add the finishing touches to the product which is now shipping to customers.

In the weeks following the product announcement in February, prototype glasses (ETG 120 Hz) were provided to leaders in eye tracking research, including Prof. Ralf Engbert of the University of Potsdam, Germany. He evaluated their potential for velocity-based detection of saccades, the very rapid movements of the eye. In the past this has been the preserve of high-performance desktop systems with a sampling rate of up to 1000 Hz.

Prof. Engbert concluded the 120 Hz system is “in remarkably good agreement with the benchmark data” from 1000 Hz eye trackers.

“Statistical analyses using surrogate data indicate that saccades of all sizes above the micro-range (i.e., mean amplitude > 1°) can be identified reliably,” he wrote. “SMI-ETG 2W system might represent an alternative technology to desktop systems for high resolution eye-tracking research”.

The glasses were also assessed by the Center in Cognitive Interactive Technology (CITEC) in Germany, which sees benefit for real-time gaze interaction applications. “We tested interaction scenarios and also applied latency tests,” said CITEC’s Patrick Renner.

“The higher sampling rate reduces the overall reaction time of the system. Improved real-time fixation detection of the 120 Hz version also improves our gaze interaction applications.”

Mohammad Al-Naser from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) works in the field of reading and image sentiment analysis. “The ETG’s higher frequency delivers smoother gaze measurements for the reading research, giving us the ability to better analyze reading behaviour,” he said.

SMI Product Manager Dr Rose said: “What encourages me most is to see that our ETG 120 Hz compares well with a published benchmark dataset obtained from a 1000 Hz desktop system. That exceeds our expectations but supports the trend of high-end eye tracking research going mobile.”

Eye tracking glasses from SMI are proven with more than 100,000 participants and are used by leading universities around the world. First launched in 2011, the eye tracking glasses technology builds on more than two decades of eye tracking experience by SMI.

Prof. Engbert’s findings are contained in the technical report Evaluation of velocity-based saccade detection in the SMI-ETG 2W system. Ralf Engbert, Lars Rothkegel, Daniel Backhaus, Hans A. Trukenbrod Allgemeine und Biologische Psychologie, Universität Potsdam (Technical Report 16-1, March 7, 2016).

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