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Combining virtual reality and mobile eye tracking

Combining virtual reality and mobile eye tracking to provide a naturalistic experimental environment for shopper research

Technological advances in eye tracking methodology have made it possible to unobtrusively measure consumer visual attention during the shopping process. Mobile eye tracking in field settings however has several limitations, including a highly cumbersome data coding process. In addition, field settings allow only limited control of important interfering variables. The present paper argues that virtual reality can provide an alternative setting that combines the benefits of mobile eye tracking with the flexibility and control provided by lab experiments. The paper first reviews key advantages of different eye tracking technologies as available for desktop, natural and virtual environments. It then explains how combining virtual reality settings with eye tracking provides a unique opportunity for shopper research in particular regarding the use of augmented reality to provide shopper assistance.