Home Forums Eye Tracking Devices Concerned about my Eye Safety – eyes can feel when it is on or not –

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    samuel adams

    despite the safety message given by tobii here

    why am i concerned?

    after spending several days of around 6 to 10 hours per day… programming the eye mouse, my eyes could actually feel when the light is activated or not, it feels like they are being sunburned.

    pls be aware im very used to spending huge amounts of time in front of the computer screen, it has NEVER before made my eyes feel tired / sunburned / aching.

    is there any dev out there that could give me a number of hours per day that’s safe? something that has actually been tested out by someone for years? my body is telling me it’s unsafe and it might make me abandon this thing despite me really really wanting not to.

    the safety message given by tobii is super super vague saying it is rated safe considering daily usage (but without giving any study numbers of how much it is used per day)


    I don’t know, but I DO know that if you are using the eyetracking for things where you can see the mouse and are trying to be accurate it INCREASES eye strain a LOT.

    Tasks that use your gaze without you trying to pinpoint a location (like a tooltip that pops up if it notices you’ve been looking at something) should cause little to no strain on your eyes.

    I would treat it like a muscle, and limit your daily time doing pinpoint accurate controls until you become more accustomed.

    My first time eye-tracking I played solitaire for only like an hour, but I was clicking using blinks and controlling everything with my eyes. My head hurt and my eyes were tired afterwards, but I’m told you get better at it.


    Hi Samuel,

    As Wyatt mentions, what you are experiencing is probably muscular strain. It’s quite natural, as you actively use your eyes to adjust the mouse pointer position, which means you use the eye muscles in ways you are not used to yet.

    As pointed out in the FAQ article, the light used in the eye tracker meets european standards for optical radiation hazards (IEC/EN 62471), and has been tested not to be harmful.

    I have spent 4 years working with our Assistive Technology products. Over the years, Tobii has sold thousands of eye-trackers to users with various disabilities. These devices are mainly used as an alternative communication method, meaning that users are dependant on their devices throughout their entire day. Typically, these users have severe physical disabilities that prevent them from interacting with the computer through other interaction methods than gaze. In other words we have thousands of people that use our eyetrackers as their primary tool for face-to-face communication, surfing the web, writing documents, controlling their home, writing text messages/emails and everything else you would want to do on a computer. The devices are usually mounted on the persons wheelchair and goes wherever the user goes, so they actively use their devices or have the device in front of them for the vast majority of their day.

    On a daily basis, these people use our eye trackers far more than any developer would, and we have not had any reports that the light on our eye trackers have affected or done damage to any of our users.


    samuel adams

    thanks anders that made me feel much better. 🙂

    i could almost swear though to feel it when its on (without moving my eyes at all)

    probably just a mind thing but it sure feels real!


    I have developed eyestrain over the last few days. The day before yesterday I noticed it. Yesterday it became painful especially behind the right eye. Today I’ve taken a break, but it is still mildly painful.

    I think I’m going to have to wait until I have had a couple of days pain-free, and then consciously limiting myself when I return.

    I am using my tracker as an on-screen keyboard. I would estimate I am performing 1000 actions at a sitting, maybe three times a day. And I’ve been doing it for about 14 days maybe.

    Has anyone experienced this ‘phase’?

    It would be comforting to hear from someone who has gone through this and emerged safe on the other side. I have a long history of damage from repetitive strain injuries. It seems the head is harder than the body.

    One thing I could try doing is adjusting my focus so that I am looking around my room or out of the window at least once a minute.



    Have you tried eye drops to moisturize?

    Check out the highest rated review from here:


    The reviewer compares 7 different eye drops.

    >I have a long history of damage from repetitive strain injuries

    This one got the highest score for ease of use:

    >Bausch & Lomb: 6/5 extra credit for a completely unique, easy to squeeze design, it really stands above the rest

    I don’t know if it applies to both the preservative and non preservative version.

    Whenever you take a break from eye-tracking, a less-straining “click” that I’ve found is from a tablet:
    Nexus 10.
    Jump VNC app to remote.
    Hacker’s Keyboard app for more keys.
    AutoHotkey to remap buttons.
    Use a wrist pronation motion (supination is the opposite) to tap the edge buttons of the tablet.


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