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Winter School 2023

We are co-organizing an ETH Winter School on “Eye Tracking – Experimental Design, Implementation, and Analysis” which is going to take place in Monte Verità (Ticino), Switzerland, from 8 to 13 January 2023. Download the first announcement as PDF.

The Winter School targets at PhD students and early PostDocs (coming from any research field) who are using, or planning to use, eye tracking in their research. Internationally recognized experts will provide lectures and hands-on sessions on eye tracking methodology, experimental design, and analysis.

The registration for the Winter School is now open.

Building on the successful 2016 Winter School, the 2023 School will be updated to focus on state-of-the-art software (licensed and open-source, e.g., PsychoPy and Pupil Labs) and hardware. Hands-on exercises will focus on table-mounted eye trackers.

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Control Room Decision-Making Lab at Singapore-ETH Centre

We are happy to announce the starting of our new Control Room Decision-Making Lab at the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) for our project on Communicating Predicted Disruptions in Future Resilient Systems (FRS 2). The lab is equipped with sensors for measuring decision makers’ psycho-physiological state, including remote and head-mounted eye trackers, galvanic skin response sensors, and accelerometers. The new lab infrastructure will be used to study how different communication techniques can be used in control rooms to support decision-makers. This research will improve the next generation of control rooms, thus enhancing the resilience of the monitored infrastructure in case of disruptions

We want to thank all our collaborators and the SEC management for their help setting up the laboratory.

Control Room Decision-Making Lab

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Kevin Gonyop Kim joins the team

We’re excited to welcome Kevin Gonyop Kim, who has now started as a postdoctoral researcher in the 3D sketch maps project. Welcome to the team, Kevin!

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Follow us on LinkedIn

We now have a page on LinkedIn, where we’ll be sharing some our updates from now on. Follow us and get connected!

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PhD graduation Fabian Göbel

Fabian Göbel has successfully completed his doctoral thesis on “Visual Attentive User Interfaces for Feature-Rich Environments”. The doctoral graduation has been approved by the Department conference in their last meeting. Congratulations, Fabian!

After his thesis defense, Fabian has started a research internship at Microsoft on the topic of interaction with HoloLens 2. We wish him all the best and thank him for all the contributions he has made to our research!

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Workshop Paper presented at the INTERACT 2021

Our paper “Improving resilience by communicating predicted disruptions in control rooms” has been presented at the INTERACT 2021 Workshop on Control Rooms in Safety Critical Contexts (CRiSCC): Design, Engineering and Evaluation Issues. The full-day workshop was held in a hybrid manner at Bari, Italy, with 13 interdisciplinary researchers. The vision paper outlines some of the ideas and challenges which we are addressing in the FRS 2 project on “Optimizing strategies for communicating predicted disruptions to stakeholders”:

Chakraborty, S., Kiefer, P., & Raubal, M. (2021). Improving resilience by communicating predicted disruptions in control rooms, INTERACT 2021.

Abstract: Even though the importance of resilience for control rooms is generally acknowledged, cognitive resilience is often not taken into account properly during control room design. This vision paper aims at improving the cognitive resilience in control rooms through advancements in three key research areas: 1) automated detection of upcoming disruptions, 2) visualization of spatio-temporal uncertainty, 3) cognition-aware interaction design.

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PostDoc position in 3D Sketch Maps

In addition to the open PhD position, which has been announced here earlier, we’re also offering an open PostDoc position in the 3D Sketch Maps project.

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New project and open position: 3D Sketch Maps

We’re very much looking forward to the start of the 3D Sketch Maps project, for which we have now announced an open PhD position: Interaction with 3D Sketch Maps in Extended Reality.

The 3D Sketch Maps project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation in the scope of the Sinergia funding program, investigates 3D sketch maps from a theoretical, empirical, cognitive, as well as tool-​related perspective, with a particular focus on Extended Reality (XR) technologies. Sketch mapping is an established research method in fields that study human spatial decision-​making and information processing, such as navigation and wayfinding. Although space is naturally three-​dimensional (3D), contemporary research has focused on assessing individuals’ spatial knowledge with two-​dimensional (2D) sketches. For many domains though, such as aviation or the cognition of complex multilevel buildings, it is essential to study people’s 3D understanding of space, which is not possible with the current 2D methods. Eye tracking will be used for the analysis of people’s eye movements while using the sketch mapping tools.

The 4-​year project will be carried out jointly by the Chair of Geoinformation Engineering, the Chair of Cognitive Science at ETH Zurich (Prof. Dr. Christoph Hölscher), and the Spatial Intelligence Lab at University of Münster (Prof. Dr. Angela Schwering).

Interested? Please check out the open PhD position on the ETH job board!

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Adrian Sarbach joins the team

We’re glad that Adrian Sarbach has joined the geoGAZElab as a doctoral student on the project “The Expanded Flight Deck – Improving the Weather Situation Awareness of Pilots (EFDISA)“.

Adrian has, among others, studied at EPFL (Bachelor) and at ETH Zurich (Master), obtaining his degrees in electrical engineering. He wrote his MSc thesis in collaboration with Swiss International Air Lines, on the topic of tail assignment optimization.

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Full Paper presentation at ETRA 2021

Our accepted paper “Gaze-Adaptive Lenses for Feature-Rich Information Spaces” will be presented at ACM ETRA 2021:

May 25.2021 at 11:00 – 12:00 and 18:00 – 19:00 in “Posters & Demos & Videos”
May 26.2021 at 14:4516.15 in Track 1: “Full Papers V”

Join the virtual conference for a chat!

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Kuno Kurzhals: Junior Research Group Lead

Kuno Kurzhals has left us for his new position as Junior Research Group Lead in the Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

We wish him all the best and thank for the contributions he has made to the geoGAZElab during his PostDoc time!

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New project and open position: EFDISA

We are excited that we receive funding from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (BAZL) for a new project, starting in July 2021: “The Expanded Flight Deck – Improving the Weather Situation Awareness of Pilots (EFDISA)“. The project aims at improving contemporary pre-flight and in-flight representations of weather data for pilots. This will allow pilots to better perceive, understand, and anticipate meteorological hazards. The project will be done in close collaboration with industry partners and professional pilots (Swiss International Air Lines & Lufthansa Systems).

We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral student for this project. Applications are now open.

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Results of the Interdisciplinary Project 2020

As an interdisciplinary project, the three Geomatics Master students Laura Schalbetter, Tianyu Wu and Xavier Brunner have developed an indoor navigation system for Microsoft HoloLens 2. The system was implemented using ESRI CityEngine, Unity, and Microsoft Visual Studio.

Check out their video:

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Suvodip Chakraborty starting in January

After a Corona-caused delay in the hiring process, we’re excited to announce that Suvodip Chakraborty will start as a PhD student in our Singapore-based project on Communicating Predicted Disruptions in the scope of the Future Resilient Systems 2 research program. Suvodip will start in January 2021.

Suvodip holds a Master of Science from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. His Master thesis was titled “Design of Electro-oculography based wearable systems for eye movement analysis”.

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ETRA 2021 Call for Demos&Videos

As last year, we are involved in the organization of ETRA 2021, the ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications. Peter is again co-chairing the Demo&Video Track, for which the Call is now available online. The submission deadline is 2 February 2021.

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Workshop talk: Flight safety – Line of sight

Pilots not only have to make the right decisions, but they have to do it quickly and process a lot of information – especially visual information. In a unique project, ETH Zurich and Swiss International Air Lines have investigated what the eyes of pilots do in this process.

Martin Raubal, Professor of Geoinformation Engineering at ETH Zurich, appreciates the practical relevance of this research collaboration, which could contribute to increasing flight safety. Anyone who wants to develop it further should take off their blinders and think outside the box, says Christoph Ammann, captain and instructor at Swiss. And ETH Zurich is an ideal partner for this.

Watch the video on Vimeo!

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Redesign of website and logo

We have revised and redesigned our website (http://geogaze.ethz.ch/), including a new logo. Have a look!

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Book Chapter on Outdoor HCI accepted

Kiefer, P., Adams, B., Kwok, T., Raubal, M. (2020) Modeling Gaze-Guided Narratives for Outdoor Tourism. In: McCrickard, S., Jones, M., and Stelter, T. (eds.): HCI Outdoors: Theory, Design, Methods and Applications. Springer International Publishing (in print)

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ET4S and ETVIS proceedings

We’ve been involved in the organization of two co-located events at this year’s ETRA conference: Eye Tracking for Spatial Research (ET4S) and Eye Tracking and Visualization (ETVIS). Even though ETRA and all co-located events had to be canceled, the review process was finished regularly, and accepted papers are now available in the ETRA Adjunct Proceedings in the ACM Digital Library.

Accepted ET4S papers are also linked from the ET4S website.

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New article on iAssyst

The instructor assistant system (iAssyst) that we developed as part of our research collaboration with Swiss International Air Lines is being featured in an article by innoFRAtor, the innovation portal of the Fraport AG.

You may read more about the system in our related research article: Rudi D., Kiefer P., and Raubal M. (2020). The Instructor Assistant System (iASSYST) – Utilizing Eye Tracking for Commercial Aviation Training Purposes. Ergonomics, vol. 63: no. 1, pp. 61-​79, London: Taylor & Francis, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2019.1685132

Our project on Enhanced flight training program for monitoring aircraft automation with Swiss International Air Lines, NASA, and the University of Oregon was officially concluded end of last year.

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Workshop Paper published from ETAVI 2020

Our paper Towards Pilot-Aware Cockpits has been published in the proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Eye-Tracking in Aviation (ETAVI 2020):

Lutnyk L., Rudi D., and Raubal M. (2020). Towards Pilot-​Aware Cockpits. In Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Eye-​Tracking in Aviation (ETAVI 2020), ETH Zurich. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000407661

Abstract. Eye tracking has a longstanding history in aviation research. Amongst others it has been employed to bring pilots back “in the loop”, i.e., create a better awareness of the flight situation. Interestingly, there exists only little research in this context that evaluates the application of machine learning algorithms to model pilots’ understanding of the aircraft’s state and their situation awareness. Machine learning models could be trained to differentiate between normal and abnormal patterns with regard to pilots’ eye movements, control inputs, and data from other psychophysiological sensors, such as heart rate or blood pressure. Moreover, when the system recognizes an abnormal pattern, it could provide situation specific assistance to bring pilots back in the loop. This paper discusses when pilots benefit from such a pilot-aware system, and explores the technical and user oriented requirements for implementing this system.

Edit. The publication is part of PEGGASUS. This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 821461

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GeoGazeLab involved in Future Resilient Systems II programme

The second phase of the FRS programme at the Singapore-ETH Centre officially started on April 1st with an online research kick-off meeting. It was launched in the midst of a global crisis – COVID-​19, highlighting the need to better understand and foster resilience. Within FRS-II there is a particular emphasis on social resilience to enhance the understanding of how socio-​technical systems perform before, during and after disruptions.

GeoGazeLab researchers will contribute within a research cluster focusing on distributed cognition (led by Martin Raubal). More specifically, we will develop a visualization, interaction, and notification framework for communicating predicted disruptions to stakeholders. Empirical studies utilizing eye tracking and gaze-based interaction methods will be part of this project, which is led by Martin Raubal and Peter Kiefer.

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Full Paper accepted at ETRA 2020

Our paper “Gaze-Adaptive Lenses for Feature-Rich Information Spaces” has been accepted at ACM ETRA 2020 as a full paper:

Göbel, F., Kurzhals K., Schinazi V. R., Kiefer, P., and Raubal, M. (2020). Gaze-Adaptive Lenses for Feature-Rich Information Spaces. In Proceedings of the 12th ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications (ETRA ’20), ACM. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3379155.3391323

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Workshop Paper accepted at CHI 2020

Our workshop contribution “Gaze-Aware Mixed-Reality: Addressing Privacy Issues with Eye Tracking” has been accepted at the “Workshop on Exploring Potentially Abusive Ethical, Social and Political Implications of Mixed Reality in HCI” at ACM CHI 2020:

Fabian Göbel, Kuno Kurzhals Martin Raubal and Victor R. Schinazi (2020). Gaze-Aware Mixed-Reality: Addressing Privacy Issues with Eye Tracking.
In CHI 2020 Workshop on Exploring Potentially Abusive Ethical, Social and Political Implications of Mixed Reality in HCI (CHI 2020), ACM.

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ETAVI 2020 Proceedings Online

The proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Eye-Tracking in Aviation (ETAVI) 2020 have been published here.

We thank all program committee members for their efforts and great support, it is very much appreciated.

Furthermore, we thank all authors of the 15 excellent articles that were accepted for ETAVI 2020. We regret that the event had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Edit. Some of the organizers from ETH are part of the PEGGASUS project. This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 821461

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Full Paper accepted at CHI 2020

Our paper “A View on the Viewer: Gaze-Adaptive Captions for Videos” has been accepted at ACM CHI 2020 as a full paper:

Kurzhals K., Göbel F., Angerbauer K., Sedlmair M., Raubal M. (2020) A View on the Viewer: Gaze-Adaptive Captions for Videos. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings (CHI 2020), ACM (accepted)


Abstract. Subtitles play a crucial role in cross-lingual distribution of multimedia content and help communicate information where auditory content is not feasible (loud environments, hearing impairments, unknown languages). Established methods utilize text at the bottom of the screen, which may distract from the video. Alternative techniques place captions closer to related content (e.g., faces) but are not applicable to arbitrary videos such as documentations. Hence, we propose to leverage live gaze as indirect input method to adapt captions to individual viewing behavior. We implemented two gaze-adaptive methods and compared them in a user study (n=54) to traditional captions and audio-only videos. The results show that viewers with less experience with captions prefer our gaze-adaptive methods as they assist them in reading. Furthermore, gaze distributions resulting from our methods are closer to natural viewing behavior compared to the traditional approach. Based on these results, we provide design implications for gaze-adaptive captions.

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ET4S 2020 – 1st Call for Papers

The 5th edition of ET4S is taking place as a co-located event of ETRA 2020 in Stuttgart, Germany, between 2 and 5 June 2020.

The 1st Call for Papers is now available online.

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Final project event – Enhanced flight training program for monitoring aircraft automation

On the 25th of November we presented the final results of our project entitled: “Enhanced flight training program for monitoring aircraft automation“.

The project was partially funded by the swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (BAZL), was lead by SWISS International Airlines Ltd., and supported by Prof. Dr. Robert Mauro from the Department of Psychology (University of Oregon) and Dr. Immanuel Barshi from NASA Ames Research Center, Human Systems Integration Division (NASA).

As part of this very successful project we developed a system that provides instructors with more detailed insights concerning pilots’ attention during training flights, to specifically improve instructors’ assessment of pilot situation awareness.

Our project has recently been featured in different media. ETH News has published a throrough article on our project: Tracking the eye of the pilot and different articles have been referencing this publication. Additionally, there have been two Radio interviews with Prof. Dr. Martin Raubal at Radio Zürisee and SRF4 (both in German).

Moreover, there have been publications during the course of the project:

Rudi, D., Kiefer, P. & Raubal, M. (2019). The Instructor Assistant System (iASSYST) – Utilizing Eye Tracking for Aviation Training Purposes. Ergonomics. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2019.1685132.

Rudi, D., Kiefer, P., Giannopoulos, I., & Raubal, M. (2019). Gaze-based interactions in the cockpit of the future – a survey. Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces. Springer. Retrieve from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12193-019-00309-8.

Rudi D., Kiefer P. & Raubal, M. (2018). Visualizing Pilot Eye Movements for Flight Instructors. In ETVIS ’18: 3rd Workshop on Eye Tracking and Visualization. ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 7, 5 pages. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3205929.3205934. Best Paper Award Winner.

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Full paper published – Ergonomics Journal

Our paper “The instructor assistant system (iASSYST) – utilizing eye tracking for commercial aviation training purposes” has been published in the Ergonomics Journal:

Rudi, D., Kiefer, P., & Raubal, M. (2019). The instructor assistant system (iASSYST)-utilizing eye tracking for commercial aviation training purposes. Ergonomics.

Abstract. This work investigates the potential of providing commercial aviation flight instructors with an eye tracking enhanced observation system to support the training process. During training, instructors must deal with many parallel tasks, such as operating the flight simulator, acting as air traffic controllers, observing the pilots and taking notes. This can cause instructors to miss relevant information that is crucial for debriefing the pilots. To support instructors, the instructor ASsistant SYSTem (iASSYST) was developed. It includes video, audio, simulator and eye tracking recordings. iASSYST was evaluated in a study involving 7 instructors. The results show that with iASSYST, instructors were able to support their observations of errors, find new errors, determine that some previously identified errors were not errors, and to reclassify the types of errors that they had originally identified. Instructors agreed that eye tracking can help identifying causes of pilot error.

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ETRA Call for Demos&Videos

We are again involved in the organization of ETRA 2020, the ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications, taking place in Stuttgart in June 2020.

As one of our activities at ETRA 2020, Peter is co-chairing the Demo&Video Track.  The Call for Demos&Videos is now online and open for submissions.