Eye tracker gaze representation

Gaze pic1

Figure 1: Experiment Setup


“Shared gaze awareness for remote collaborative work is enabled by advancements in eye tracking technology. There are many factors to consider when designing shared gaze representations such as how much information to display and when it will be most useful. Unlike other non-verbal forms of communication such as deictic gesturing, gaze is not always intentionally communicative and therefore we need to think critically about when and how to display shared gaze. In this research, we evaluate two different methods for highlighting shared gaze across two tasks with different collaborative properties. For each task, participants saw their partner’s gaze displayed continuously, emphasized either by previous fixation points or extended fixations. We discuss our findings and present design implications for shared gaze awareness based on interaction traces and interviews with participants.”

— From “Designing Shared Gaze Awareness for Remote Collaboration” by Mia Manavalan, Sarah D’Angelo, Darren Gergle, and Jerry Li, Nov 2015. The paper is submitted to CSCW 2016.

Gaze pic2

Figure 2: Apparatus



As described above, this is a cool project that uses eyetrackers from the Eye Tribe to track where subjects are looking at on the screen. By having subjects work in pairs and displaying the gaze in different forms, we found a general guideline to design a good way to display gaze that will enhance collaboration.

Gaze pic3

Figure 3: Collaborative tasks that the users tried to solve. Puzzle task (left) and bomb diffusion task (right)

Figure 4:  Our gaze design. Gaze Trail (left) and Zoom Focus (right) Both received negative feedback because a lack of real-time response.

What a good gaze design should take care of:

  • Gaze should not be disruptive to the main task.
  • Gaze should remain availble only when needed. Automatic detection of deictic references could be used to inform when to display gaze information.
  • Gaze is a novel feature and users will need some training before they get used to it. For first time users, we suggest having some guidance from more experienced users.
  • Gaze information is usually noticed within less than half a second, therefore there is no need to replay any gaze information. Our gaze design received negative feedback beacuse we were displaying a delayed gaze information half a second late. “The half second delay for the zoom to occur was enough delay to make some references ambiguous or confusing.”

What I learned from the project:

  1. It is an interesting human-computer interface research topic that has wide applications including online teaching, remote surgery, and other remote cooperative tasks.
  2. This was the first time that I have control over project that is used and tested by 30+ research participants. It challenged my programming skills/habits.
  3. I learned C#, Dart, and setting up simple connection between webpages.