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The Apple of Your Eye? June 28, 2017

Posted by Jon Ward in eye tracking, Tobii.
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The newswires are buzzing along with the fact the SMI (our biggest competitor in the market place you might suggest) have been purchased by Apple for reasons currently unknown, at least publically. So what does this mean for the industry, for Tobii, and of course customers and users of their technology.

Firstly, from a technology perspective this is a hugely positive thing. While Apple typically lock down their infrastructure and architecture to their app store, hardware and OS the fact they have made a move to buy one of the larger players in the field reinforces the fact the eye tracking is a technology on the rise, one that will only increase its presence in our daily life. If we look at Facebook’s acquisition of Eye Tribe (via Oculus) and Google purchasing Eyefluence all of the big tech players are buying into eye tracking. In a big way. Whether it is for research purposes, interaction or to optimise hardware performance there is obvious value and ROI by including eye tracking and everyone is getting on board.

From  Tobii’s perspective it can be seen two ways. The obvious one is “Hooray!” one of the biggest competitors we see on a daily basis are no longer around, so of course we would hope to serve more customers and we are confident that we have the technology, products and capability to ensure their needs are met. From the other angle, not having someone just around the corner, pushing you, innovating, driving you to develop can be a bad thing. Google had Yahoo (at one stage!) amongst other suitors to the throne, Apple had Microsoft (or vice versa) and Commodore had Sinclair (retro throwback for some!) – these rivalries help push things forward, to be the best and without that driver you need to push yourself. Am I confident that Tobii will do this? Yes. Why? Because we feedback our thoughts and ideas regularly into design and planning meetings, we collate requests from our customers and pass that on and the team in Sweden and beyond are committed to eye tracking across all markets – from gaming interaction to research, from VR to accessibility.

A little more of a grey area is where does this leave SMI’s customer base? Will Apple continue to sell research products? I doubt it. Their other acquisitions have all been absorbed into the behemoth from Cupertino. What about support? Software updates? Repairs? How about people who have just purchased or are about to purchase a system? I am sure with time there will be more information released and maybe some long-term planning to cover all these aspects. At Acuity we would be happy to help out where we can, of course we would be keen to sell people a new system or assist with a quote (in fact we are also pleased to offer a trade in for existing SMI users to upgrade their systems to one of the Tobii platforms, with access to support, updates and future innovations), but we will happily help with other enquiries, we have experience with SMI’s BeGaze software and we are happy to talk metrics and methodologies so why not get in touch!

Keeping an Eye on Education June 7, 2017

Posted by Jon Ward in eye tracking, Technology, Tobii.
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Eye tracking is widely used across many fields of academia and in the commercial world as a tool for research, training, behavioural analysis and gathering insight. However, until now equipping a lab with research quality equipment and market leading analytical software has been expensive, meaning that classrooms or lab set-ups are limited to one or two systems, and users often fight for time with the equipment to complete their projects, or miss out on the powerful data that can be gathered from eye tracking.

Acuity and Tobii have teamed up to create a unique solution offering powerful functionality, maximum flexibility and outstanding value for institutes wanting to offer eye tracking to their students. This enables departments such as psychology, marketing, economics, neuroscience and computing to equip multiple research workstations in a simple and cost effective manner.

The set-up allows students to run individual projects, work in groups or teams and of course to participate in a single project that can be analysed centrally as well as locally. This flexibility allows people to work at their own pace or be led by a teacher, and allows tailored studies to be run to accommodate users with specific requirements – such as colour blindness or dyslexia – without excluding them which could happen with a ‘group’ style single test that is pushed out to all users, as with some other solutions.

You can fully explore and understand human behaviour, information gathering, decision making, emotional processes and much more using high quality, research grade eye tracking systems without compromising on analysis capabilities! Every workstation has a full software suite allowing them to design, present, record, review and analyse the data, meaning everyone has access to the powerful analytical tools, not just a central licence or moderator.

Users can create static and animated visualisations of interactions and run statistical analysis. They can combine this with mouse movements, key presses, user camera video, flagged observations and audio recordings across a wide range of stimulus including websites, video, images, PDF’s, questionnaires and external video sources.

The solution is fully scalable from ten units to an unlimited number of workstations, and can be upgraded or expanded at any time, and all our solutions come with expert on-site training and support.

We can tailor a proposal to the size and scale of your requirements, and offer advice on infrastructure, lab configuration and integration with existing equipment. Contact us at sales@acuity-ets.com or on +44 1189 000795.