Using smooth pursuit calibration for difficult-to-calibrate participants

Pieter Blignaut


Although the 45-dots calibration routine of a previous study (Blignaut, 2016) provided very good accuracy, it requires intense mental effort and the routine proved to be unsuccessful for young children who struggle to maintain concentration. The calibration procedures that are normally used for difficult-to-calibrate participants, such as autistic children and infants, do not suffice since they are not accurate enough and the reliability of research results might be jeopardised.

Smooth pursuit has been used before for calibration and is applied in this paper as an alternative routine for participants who are difficult to calibrate with conventional routines.  Gaze data is captured at regular intervals and many calibration targets are generated while the eyes are following a moving target. The procedure could take anything between 30 s and 60 s to complete, but since an interesting target and/or a conscious task may be used, participants are assisted to maintain concentration.

It was proven that the accuracy that can be attained through calibration with a moving target along an even horizontal path is not significantly worse than the accuracy that can be attained with a standard method of watching dots appearing in random order. The routine was applied successfully for a group of children with ADD, ADHD and learning abilities.

This result is important as it provides for easier calibration – especially in the case of participants who struggle to keep their gaze focused and stable on a stationary target for long enough.


Calibration, Smoot pursuit

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