What is facial coding and eye-tracking technology, and how do you use them?

Facial coding technology allows us to convert images of your face into information about your facial expressions while you watch videos or other online content within a survey, and eye-tracking technology detects where you are looking on a screen.  We combine this information with the responses you give us in a survey to provide greater (but still anonymous) insights to our clients about how you engage with or feel about certain topics.


How does the facial coding technology work?

We use the camera on your computer or mobile device to collect video recordings of your face as you watch videos or other content within a survey.  We then use an algorithm to assign points to key parts of your face and then measure the distance between those points to create a facial grid.  Once this is done, the video image of your face will be deleted, leaving only an anonymous facial grid that is used to recognise expressions, body language and other contextual, non-identifiable biometrics.  The data is then aggregated for analysis and put into a visual display (see the example below). 

How does eye-tracking technology work?

We use a simple piece of code (JavaScript) that turns the camera on your computer or mobile device into an eye-tracking camera, that allows us to track where you have looked on a screen, and when this information can tell our clients useful information about what they’re asking you to look at, for example: how one design compares with another, and what people naturally look at first and what people ignore.

Will you share the images of my face with anyone else?

The facial coding technology is provided by Crowd Emotion, and the eye-tracking technology is provided by Lumen.  We limit type and volume of personal data that these partners have access to, and we use contractual safeguards to ensure that they do not use or disclose data for any other purpose. 

We will not share any identifiable data with any of our clients without your consent (which we’ll ask within a survey).  If we do not have your consent, we will only use the information collected by these technologies to provide anonymous insights to our clients.

Can I change my mind about participating?

Yes, of course.  You can stop participating in a survey at any time by closing your browser, and when we invite you to take part in surveys that involve the use of facial coding and eye-tracking technology you can tell us that you’d prefer to not be invited to participate in these surveys in the future.

What do I need to participate?

You can take the survey on your computer or mobile device (subject to browser and OS compatibility) – you will just need to ensure that your camera and speakers are switched on.