10 Points Checklist for Setting Up an Eye Tracker

Lots of our clients use a professional device (eye tracker) for their eye-tracking projects. Why lots of them but not all of them? Recently we’ve launched webcam-based eye tracking and now it's not necessary to buy hardware to find out what people see watching an advertisement or browsing a website. You can also try our webcam-based eye tracking (simply by logging into your account and starting an online project).  

For those who prefer to use eye trackers, we’ve compiled a short 10 points checklist with requirements and tips. They are especially useful when you set up the device* for the first time. Some of these tips will be useful for webcam-based eye tracking as well. 

1. Keep your laptop plugged in. Depending on the model and technical condition of your laptop it can last on average between two to six hours without a charger. Sometimes, especially when the sample size of respondents is big, you cannot predict precisely how long the research will take. In order to omit the loss of data or other inconveniences related to the absence of power, it’s better to keep your laptop plugged in. 

2. Ensure you plugged the eye tracker cable into a USB 3.0 port with 800 mA voltage (modern laptops are equipped with it). 

3. Make sure that the eye tracker isn’t placed upside-down. Taking into the account that the professional eye tracker is stick-shaped, it’s quite easy to place it upside-down without noticing, especially when doing the research for the first time. 

4. In case the eye tracker isn’t working, check the USB outlet or try another jack. In the majority of cases, it solves the issue of an “out of order” eye tracker. And always remember about point 2 of this list. 

5. Use the eye tracker in a well-lit room. The eye tracker, whether a professional one or a simple webcam, has inbuilt light sensors which enable the device to distinguish the eye movement. Thus, the better the light in the room, the easier the device can focus on the eye movement of the respondent. 

6. Don’t use sunglasses. Sometimes that fact that a person wears glasses can influence an accuracy of collected data, especially if their glasses have an anti-reflective coating. And of course, the eye tracker (or webcam) can't "see" your eyes if you are wearing sunglasses. 


7. Make sure that nobody is standing behind the respondent during the test. It doesn’t mean that during the test you must stay alone in the room. However, only the eyes of the respondent should be located in the focus angle of the eye tracker. Otherwise, the sensors of the eye tracker might be confused by the eyes of another person and the accuracy of the collected data will be significantly compromised. 

8. Take care of calibration. The calibration of an eye tracker is an essential part of the test preparation process. Make sure that you got 5, or at least 4 points during the calibration procedure. It takes just a couple of minutes and is very easy, but at the same time has a major impact on the accuracy of data collection. 

poor eye tracking calibration

9. If your eye tracker doesn’t have any inbuilt head movement compensation, don’t allow respondents to move their heads during the calibration process and the test itself. Less movement during the eye tracking process means more focus from the eye tracker on the sight of the respondent and thus better accuracy of data collection. 

10. Don’t be reluctant to undergo the calibration procedure in case the result is less than 4 out of 5 points. It's great to see that all respondents finished calibration with 5-star rate, right? :) 

great eye tracking calibration

Enjoy eye tracking, enjoy neuromarketing and don’t forget that at CoolTool you can easily combine eye tracking with surveys and other neuromarketing technologies. 

* Please note, in this article, we are talking only about the eye trackers that could be bought at CoolTool marketplace (Eye Tracker by The EyeTribe, Eye Tracker PRO by MyGaze). We do not declare these tips will work with eye trackers by other manufacturers.  
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