TrackMaze: A Comparison of Head-Tracking, Eye-Tracking, and Tilt as Input Methods for Mobile Games

  • Mahdieh AbbaszadeganEmail author
  • Sohrab Yaghoubi
  • I. Scott MacKenzie
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10903)


A user study was performed to compare three input methods (tilt, eye-tracking, head-tracking) with two gain levels (low, high) on a custom-made TrackMaze mobile game. The task involved maneuvering a virtual ball through a maze while trying to avoid walls. The game was developed in Swift using the ARKit framework. The TrueDepth front-facing camera of an Apple iPhone X was used for the eye-tracking and head-tracking conditions. We evaluated user performance (maze completion time, number of wall hits) and qualitative measures (ease of use, enjoyment, fatigue). Tilt input showed the best performance and eye-tracking showed the worst performance. The mean maze completion time was 12.3 s for tilt, 22.5 s for head-tracking, and 31.8 s for eye-tracking. High gain was 26% faster than low gain. Tilt was the most precise input method with only 1.06 wall hits per trial, compared to head-tracking (2.30) and eye-tracking (4.00). Participants preferred tilt and head-tracking over eye-tracking and noted that the eye-tracking interface was fatiguing and hard to use.


HCI Mobile games Augmented reality on mobile devices ARKit iOS Head-tracking Eye-tracking Tilt-input 



We thank all participants who took part voluntarily in this experiment.


  1. 1.
    Apple, Inc., ARFaceAnchor. Accessed 23 Jan 2018
  2. 2.
    Almeida, R., Veloso, A., Roque, L., Mealha, O.: The eyes and games: a survey of visual attention and eye tracking input in video games. In: Proceedings of the 2011 Brazilian Symposium on Games and Digital Entertainments - SBGames 2011, pp. 1–10. IEEE, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bergstrom, J.R., Schall, A.: Eye Tracking in User Experience Design. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2014)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cairns, P., Li, J., Wang, W., Nordin, A.I.: The influence of controllers on immersion in mobile games. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI 2014, pp. 371–380. ACM, New York (2014)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Carvelho, T., Allison, R.S., Irving, E. L.: Computer gaming for vision therapy. In: Proceedings of Virtual Rehabilitation, pp. 198–204. IEEE, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Constantin, C., MacKenzie, I.S.: Tilt-controlled mobile games: velocity-control vs. position-control. In: Proceedings of the 6th IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Games, Entertainment, Media Conference - IEEE-GEM 2014, pp. 24–30. ACM, New York (2014)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Corcoran, P.M., Nanu, F., Petrescu, S., Bigioi, P.: Real-time eye gaze tracking for gaming design and consumer electronics systems. Consum. Electron. 58, 347–355 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cuaresma, J., MacKenzie, I.S.: A comparison between tilt-input and facial tracking as input methods for mobile games. In: Proceedings of the 6th IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Games, Entertainment, Media Conference - IEEE-GEM 2014, pp. 70–76. IEEE, New York (2014)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cuaresma, J., MacKenzie, I.S.: Fittsface: exploring navigation and selection methods for facial tracking. In: Antona, M., Stephanidis, C. (eds.) UAHCI 2017. LNCS, vol. 10278, pp. 403–416. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gorodnichy, D., Malik, S., Roth, G.: Nouse ‘use your nose as a joystick or a mouse’. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Vision Interface - VI 2002, pp. 1–11. National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (2002)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    ISO: Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) - part 9: Requirements for non-keyboard input devices (ISO 9241-9), International Organisation for Standardisation Report Number ISO/TC 159/SC4/WG3 N147 (2000)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Israel, L., Neumayr, T.: Developer earnings from the App Store top 70 billion. Accessed 10 Nov 2017
  13. 13.
    Israel, L., Saffer, S.: App Store shatters records on new year’s day. Accessed 10 Nov 2017
  14. 14.
    Jull, G.A., Falla, D., Vicenzino, B., Hodges, P.W.: The effect of therapeutic exercise on activation of the deep cervical flexor muscles in people with chronic neck pain. Manual Ther. 14, 696–701 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    MacKenzie, I.S., Teather, R.J.: FittsTilt: the application of Fitts’ law to tilt-based interaction. In: Proceedings of the 7th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction - NordiCHI 2012, pp. 568–577. ACM, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Majaranta, P., Bulling, A.: Eye tracking and eye-based human–computer interaction. In: Fairclough, S.H., Gilleade, K. (eds.) Advances in Physiological Computing. HIS, pp. 39–65. Springer, London (2014). Scholar
  17. 17.
    Medryk, S., MacKenzie, I.S.: A comparison of accelerometer and touch-based input for mobile gaming. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Multimedia and Human-Computer Interaction - MHCI 2013, pp. 117.1–117.8. ASET Inc., Ottawa (2013)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nguyen, D.: Understanding perceived enjoyment and continuance intention in mobile games, Ph.D. thesis, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland (2015)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Peshkovskaya, A.G., Babkina, T.S., Myagkov, M.G.: The socialization effect on decision making in the Prisoner’s Dilemma game. PLoS ONE 12, e0175492 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    PocketGamer, Apple: Most popular App Store categories (2017). Accessed 10 Nov 2017
  21. 21.
    Ramcharitar, A., Teather, R.J.: A Fitts’ law evaluation of video game controllers: thumbstick, touchpad, and gyrosensor. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems - CHI 2017, pp. 2860–2866. ACM, New York (2017)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Roig-Maimó, M.F., MacKenzie, I.S., Manresa, C., Varona, J.: Evaluating Fitts’ law performance with a non-ISO task. In: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference of the Spanish Human-Computer Interaction Association, pp. 51–58. ACM, New York (2017)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Teather, R.J., MacKenzie, I.S.: Comparing order of control for tilt and touch games. In: Proceedings of the 10th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment - IE 2014, pp. 1–10. ACM, New York (2014)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Teather, R.J., MacKenzie, I.S.: Position vs. velocity control for tilt-based interaction. In: Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2014 - GI 2014, pp. 51–58. Canadian Information Processing Society, Toronto (2014)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahdieh Abbaszadegan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sohrab Yaghoubi
    • 1
  • I. Scott MacKenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceYork UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations