History

The emergence of Eye tracker is due to gaze motion research, starting from 1879, when Louis Emile Javal observed that reading does not involve a smooth sweeping of the eyes along the text, as previously assumed, but a series of short stops, called fixations and quick saccades. We visually see our environment only through fixations. Brain actually combines visual images that we receive through fixations. This discovery raised important questions about reading, which were explored during the 1900s.

1930s eye tracking research characterize by a more applied research focus, especially for experimental psychology. 

1950 — Alfred L. Yarbus wrote about the relation between fixations and interest in an object. Eye movements reflect the human thought processes; so the respondent's thought may be followed to some extent from records of eye movements (the thought accompanying the examination of the particular object). It is easy to determine from these records which elements attract the observer's eye and, consequently, his thought, in what order, and how often.

1970s — eye tracking expanded rapidly marked by significant improvements in eye movement recording systems facilitating increasingly accurate and easily obtained measurements.

1980 — M. Just and P. Carpenter formulated the influential Strong eye-mind Hypothesis, the hypothesis that here is no appreciable lag between what is fixated and what is processed. The hypothesis is very often today taken for granted by beginning eye tracker researchers.

Eye tracking research has been available for about 40 years, but only recently has been identified commercial advantage of eye tracking for marketing and advertising.