Best iMotions eye tracker alternative

Andrzej Morawski
March 28, 2024

iMotions is a company that specializes in human behavior analysis software. Through its computer and online applications, iMotions enables users to collect and analyze data related to human behavior using technologies such as eye tracking, galvanic skin response, facial expression analysis, EEG, EMG, and EKG.

The main challenges you might face when working with iMotions include:

  • Hardware devices require more effort to invite study participants to the lab than to invite an online panel.
  • Participants wearing eye tracking glasses or other sensors may feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, affecting their natural behavior.
  • Data synchronization and integration - combining eye-tracking data with other physiological signals (e.g., EEG, GSR) can be complex. Ensuring synchronized data streams is crucial for meaningful analysis and insights into human behavior
  • Calibration Challenges - achieving accurate gaze mapping requires precise calibration. Factors like head movement, lighting conditions, and individual differences impact calibration quality.
  • It may be hard or impossible to aggregate the eye tracking data (create heatmaps, get statistics for AOIs, etc) when using eye tracking glasses.
  • Using hardware eyetrackers is often more expensive than using online alternatives (there is no device cost, offline panelits are more expensive than online panelists, you need space, someone to accompany the panelists, etc.).

While iMotions offers a strong selection of tools that can be very useful in academic and consumer research and allow you to gain valuable insights, it's important to consider your budget and research goals. If you're setting up a specialized lab focused on in-person experiments with EEG and GSR and have the necessary funding, iMotions could be a great fit. However, if your research involves remote participants, is occasional in nature, or requires a large scale, there are other tools available in the market that might be more suitable for your needs. These alternative tools could include eye-tracking solutions, among others.

Considering alternatives to iMotions? Or having trouble using it? We've got you covered!

Take a look at these iMotions alternatives that we’ve selected for you.
Top alternatives to iMotions:

  1. RealEye
  2. Tobii
  3. GP3 Eye Tracker
  4. Hotjar


RealEye makes eye-tracking research (but also emotion and attention research) easier. This web-based platform functions as a complete solution, enabling researchers to design, conduct, and analyze eye-tracking experiments entirely online.  The RealEye research platform leverages participants' existing webcams – built-in in laptops, smartphones, or tablets – eliminating the need for specialized hardware.  This also allows for remote testing, with participants conveniently taking part from their homes.  RealEye goes beyond standard eye-tracking data by additionally measuring attention levels (k-coefficient) and even emotional responses.  All collected data can be exported for further in-depth analysis.  Integration with popular survey tools like Forsta, SurveyMonkey, and Questionpro is also available.

In terms of cost, the RealEye Standard license is a significantly more budget-friendly option compared to traditional hardware eye trackers and most of web based eye tracking software. This cost advantage becomes even more pronounced for large-scale studies utilizing online participant pools, which are typically more affordable than in-lab recruitment.  

Finally, RealEye prioritizes participant privacy by adhering to strict GDPR compliance. The platform never stores or records any videos or photos of the individuals involved in the research.

See the comparison of RealEye and iMotions Online.

iMotions vs RealEye

iMotions specializes in in-lab psychophysiological research with a wide range of tools, including EEG, GSR, and eye-tracking, whereas RealEye focuses on remote/ online eye-tracking research using participants' webcams.

Offer comparison
Apart from eye-tracking data and emotion, RealEye also collects attention metric (k-coefficient) and iMotions allows additionally for collecting physiological data (EEG, GSR).


Moneywise iMotions typically requires a significant upfront investment for hardware and software licenses, whereas RealEye offers a more budget-friendly option, especially for remote studies, with a standard license costing multiple times less than hardware trackers. The cost advantage increases with larger online participant pools.

Setup and Use

iMotions requires specialized equipment and technical expertise for setting up and using the platform, particularly for EEG and GSR data collection.

RealEye, on the contrary, is a web-based platform that eliminates the need for hardware installation. Participants simply access the study through their web browser, making it user-friendly for both researchers and participants.

When to choose RealEye?

If you do not conduct in-depth psychophysiological studies in a controlled lab environment, focusing on EEG, GSR, and ultra-precision eye-tracking data, then you should definitely consider RealEye.

RE is well-suited for researchers conducting remote eye-tracking studies that focus on user behavior (eye tracking, facial expressions, and attention data). It's also a good option for small—and large-scale studies with online participants.

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Tobii is one of the leaders of hardware eye tracking world, offering a range of models to suit various needs. These trackers come in two main categories: screen-based and stand-alone. Screen-based eye trackers integrate directly into monitors or laptops. Tobii offers models like the Tobii Eye Tracker 5, which seamlessly attaches to existing displays. For research settings, stand-alone Tobii eye trackers provide more flexibility. These freestanding units can be positioned for optimal data collection in controlled environments. Regardless of the model, Tobii eye-trackers are known for their precision, capturing users' gaze data with exceptional detail. This makes them valuable tools for researchers and developers who want to understand how people interact with digital content.

iMotions vs Tobii

Tobii eye tracking devices may be used in research when using iMotions but may also be used independently.What Tobii eye-tarckers do not cover is data analysis as well as emotion recognition and possibility to run simultaneously GSR and EEG tests. Both iMotions platform and Tobii eye-trackers are primarily meant for in lab testing.


The GP3 eye-tracker by Gazepoint is a high-precision research tool that tracks eye movements in detail.  It captures where users look on a screen with a frequency of 60 times per second and an accuracy of up to 1 degree.  It integrates with research software. The GP3 is available in a standard version and a high-definition version for researchers.  While not for casual users, the GP3 is valuable for controlled lab environments studying human interaction with screens.

iMotions vs GP3

Similar to Tobii hardware, eye-trackers GP3 is a device while iMotions is a platform to link and analyze the data from different sensors. Similarly to Tobii devices GP3 may serve as one of the sensors that integrates with iMotions. If however, you do need only eye-tracking data, you could use GP3 without iMotions. Please keep in mind that GP3 doesn’t come with software to do the analysis so this would work as long as you had access to an analysis tool.


Hotjar is a user experience (UX) insights platform that helps website owners and researchers understand how visitors interact with their sites. It goes beyond basic click tracking by offering a suite of features that combine behavioral analytics with user feedback. It’s work keeping in mind that it doesn’t allow eye-tracking nor emotion analysis.

With Hotjar you may create heatmaps based on clicks, scrolls, and hovers, revealing areas of interest and potential pain points. Session recordings capture user journeys, allowing you to observe how users navigate your site.
Hotjar also serves as User Feedback tool.

iMotions vs. Hotjar: 

While both iMotions and Hotjar offer valuable insights, they cater to different needs. While iMotions specializes in in-lab psychophysiological research, focusing on user emotions and physiological responses, Hotjar focuses on user behavior and website usability through remote data collection that is based on clicks, scrolls and mouse movements.

Offer comparison:

iMotions offers a comprehensive suite for collecting physiological data (EEG, GSR), facial expressions, and eye-tracking data in a controlled lab environment, whereas Hotjar provides heatmaps, session recordings, surveys, and feedback tools for analyzing user behavior and gathering feedback only on websites.

Setup and Use:

iMotions requires specialized equipment and technical expertise for setup and use, particularly for EEG and GSR data collection. Meanwhile Hotjar is a web-based platform with a user-friendly interface, ideal for researchers with limited technical knowledge.

When to Choose Hotjar

Use Hotjar instead of iMotions if you’re testing a website. If on the other hand you wish to do in-depth psychophysiological study in a controlled lab environment and need as an output eye-tracking or emotions data then iMotions is better choice. Bear in mind that Hotjar does not allow for EEG, GSR tests.

The above list of iMotions competitors is subjective. We’ve selected those tools that allow for biometric research and in some areas are similar to iMotions.

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