Monday, April 27, 2009

ITU Gaze Tracker: Low-cost gaze interaction: ready to deliver the promises (San Agustin, J et al., 2009)

The research paper on the ITU Gaze Tracker that Javier San Agustin presented at CHI09 is now available at the ACM website. It evaluates a previous version of the gaze tracker in two tasks, target acquisition and eye typing in comparison with mouse, SMI IViewX RED and the Tobii 1750.

"Eye movements are the only means of communication for some severely disabled people. However, the high prices of commercial eye tracking systems limit the access to this technology. In this pilot study we compare the performance of a low-cost, web cam-based gaze tracker that we have developed with two commercial trackers in two different tasks: target acquisition and eye typing. From analyses on throughput, words per minute and error rates we conclude that a low-cost solution can be as efficient as expensive commercial systems."

  • San Agustin, J., Skovsgaard, H., Hansen, J. P., and Hansen, D. W. 2009. Low-cost gaze interaction: ready to deliver the promises. In Proceedings of the 27th international Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, MA, USA, April 04 - 09, 2009). CHI EA '09. ACM, New York, NY, 4453-4458.
    Download at ACM website.

A brief users guide to the ITU Gaze Tracker

Today we release a short users guide for the open source eye tracker we presented some weeks ago. Hopefully it will assist first time users to configure the software and understanding the limitations of the initial version. Comments and suggestions appreciated.

Friday, April 17, 2009

IDG Interview with Javier San Agustin

During the CHI09 in Boston last week Nick Barber from the IDG Network stopped by to record an interview with Javier San Agustin, member of the ITU GazeGroup. The video has now surfaced on several IDG sites around the world, clearly there is an interest for easy to use, low cost eye tracking. After the initial release of ITU Gaze Tracker we have setup a community forum at, with the ambition to connect users of open source eye tracking. If you like to be part of project, please join in promoting and developing an alternative. It´s open and accessible for all (platform documentation to be released in next week)

Hopefully, ideas and contributions to platform through the community makes the platform take off. Considering the initial release to be a Beta version, there are of course additional improvements to make. Additional cameras needs to be verified and bugs in code to be handled.

If you experience any issues or have ideas for improvements please post at

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Introducing the ITU GazeTracker

The ITU Gaze Tracker is an open-source eye gaze tracking application that aims to provide a low-cost alternative to commercial gaze tracking systems and thereby making the technology more accessible. It is being developed by the Gaze Group at the IT University of Copenhagen, supported by the Communication by Gaze Interaction Association (COGAIN). The eye tracking software is video-based, and any camera equipped with infrared nightvision can be used, such as a video camera or a webcam. The cameras that have been tested with the system can be found in our forum.

  • Supports head mounted and remote setups
  • Tracks both pupil and glints
  • Supports a wide variety of camera devices
  • Configurable calibration
  • Eye-mouse capabilities
  • UDPServer broadcasting gaze data
  • Full source code provided

We encourage users and developers to test our software with their cameras and provide feedback so we can continue development. The ITU Gaze Tracker is released under the GLP3 open source license and the full source code is hosted at sourceforge. It´s written in C# using Emgu OpenCV wrapper for C++ image processing. (Microsoft .Net 3.5 needed) Once the tracker has been started it can be configured to broadcast gaze data via the UDP protocol which makes it easy to pick up in your own applications. We provide a sample implementation on a client in C#.

Open source eye tracking has never been easier. Download the binaries, plug the camera and launch the application. Adjust the sliders to match your camera and start the calibration.

Visit the ITU GazeGroup to download the software package. Please get in touch with us at