A New Analytics Tool Allows Eye-Tracking Studies to Be Performed in VR
Andrew Wheeler posted on June 22, 2018 |

Sweden-based Tobii Pro creates an array of eye-tracking technology primarily for domains like special education, researchers, businesses, OEMs, device makers and the gaming community. The company was started in 2001, and they’ve been successful by focusing on three areas of expertise: The Tobii Dynavox division makes specially designed computers and touch screens that are controlled by eye-movement for people with special needs due to medical conditions. Tobii Pro creates a different set of eye-tracking products for research institutions and universities. And Tobii Tech is the third division of the company that makes eye-tracking tech for computer games, PCs, smartphones and virtual reality.

Through repetition, eye-tracking data can yield practical insights as to where a group of eyes looks the most in a given 3D environment experienced through a VR headset. The tool integrates into Unity environments, which means common headsets like HTC Vive could yield a better ROI (Return on Investment), adding to the value of capital that may have been expended already on virtual reality equipment. The eye-tracking data shows up as points on heat and opacity maps, highlighting areas that received the most attention. (Image courtesy of Tobii Pro.)
Through repetition, eye-tracking data can yield practical insights as to where a group of eyes looks the most in a given 3D environment experienced through a VR headset. The tool integrates into Unity environments, which means common headsets like HTC Vive could yield a better ROI (Return on Investment), adding to the value of capital that may have been expended already on virtual reality equipment. The eye-tracking data shows up as points on heat and opacity maps, highlighting areas that received the most attention. (Image courtesy of Tobii Pro.)

Virtual reality is a natural fit for the company’s technology, especially since they offer customers eye-tracking analytics and the subsequent ability to analyze and influence user behaviors and decision-making. This is the concept behind Tobii Pro VR Analytics a new analysis tool for training individuals in complex domains and high-risk occupations like emergency response, industrial and medical.

Manufacturing companies could use the new tool to train workers on operations that require different responses in a variety of scenarios. The eye-tracking analytics data could help employers zero-in on problematic behaviors and perhaps help workers identify helpful signs for maintenance of machinery and notice early-warning signs of potentially dangerous accidents.

A construction company may be interested in having eye-tracking analytics to track people’s focus when shown a completed building design on a VR headset and then use the data to make design decisions like which locations to place signage on, and where to place emergency exits.

An aviation company could use Tobii Pro VR Analytics during virtual reality flight simulations to refine training modules, which could help teach pilots about best practices when it comes to reading instrumentation and executing proper maneuvers given a certain situation.

Bottom Line

Eye-tracking analytics in virtual reality could prove to be useful in multiple areas if integrated into VR design reviews and control group testing. Yielding useful maps of areas where people’s eyes naturally focus could make certain design decisions easier to implement based on hard evidence and non-intuitive ones.


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