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Unusual Advertising Tie-In’s! March 29, 2011

Posted by Jon Ward in Advertising, Market Research, Marketing.
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In this world of multimedia, SMM, online and real world advertising you need to be a little different to stand out. Recently our fellow reseller  in Australia , James Breeze, did some work with APN Outdoor and got some great results and some interesting findings, watch the link below and see a cameo from Juan Pablo, the Tobii reseller in Chile….


Watching this again led me to think about interesting ways of grabbing attention and adding to the impact of an advertising campaign, and then I saw the following bus shelter outside a clients office….

At first I didn’t even notice anything… and then I saw the dent (it was early ok!!) and the feathers, then the posters and all of a sudden it clicked that this was tied to the Lynx adverts where the angels drop from the sky in admiration for a guy with sweet smelling armpits! To see the advert see here :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfeVEAZkJqM .

Of course then I thought it would have been interesting to see how I engaged with this, and how I made built up the correlation with the branding which is where eye tracking would be incredibly useful and powerful. I like this subtle (but at the same time not so subtle) and quite unique way of adding to the campaign. What interesting tie-ins are out there? Seen anything that has made you smile, or think – “That is pretty cool!” – if so let me know!

Acuity at TFM&A Show – come and meet the team!! February 4, 2011

Posted by Natasha French in eye tracking, Glasses, Market Research, Marketing, Media, Shopper Research, Technology.
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TFM&A introduces the brand new OA&A and DM Expo! It’s only 4 weeks away, so we’ve been fitting in preparations for the show – in between trips to China and Singapore! It’s our first year exhibiting at this particular event, so we’re both excited and curious to see how the days unfold. We’ve had stand confirmation – so readers and those with a shared love for eye tracking and all other innovative technology – do pop by and say hello!

We’re exhibiting on stand MR9 at Earls Court 2 on the 1st and 2nd March. Hope to see you all there!

Free Eye Tracking Workshops Go On The Road! September 9, 2010

Posted by Jon Ward in eye tracking, Market Research, Marketing, Technology, Tips And Tricks, Tobii, Updates.
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Earlier this year we did a number of introductions to eye tracking workshops for people we met at Internet World. These gave a little more insight into eye tracking, its applications, dispelled some myths and explained the science and reasoning behind a lot of the metrics and visualisations people see! These were insanely popular and we got great feedback – and as we are gluttons for punishment we are doing some more – but taking them on the road!

The new dates will be in November –and are penciled in to be held in Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh. However if you have a requirement for your business we can arrange a more tailored local event for you!

The event is free to attend and refreshments will be provided! These sessions are designed to be a prime opportunity for those interested to gain a more extensive understanding of ET and have some real ‘’hands on’’ experience. Please note that places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. All those interested to learn more  – please email Natasha (natasha@acuity-ets.com) or call us on 01189 000795. You will receive more details and confirmation, and have the chance to forward any questions or thoughts to be considered on the day!

Over 500 Papers And Abstracts On Eye Tracking Using Tobii August 22, 2010

Posted by Jon Ward in eye tracking, Market Research, Marketing, Media, Studio, Tips And Tricks, Tobii, Usability & UX.
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The library of abstracts and papers on studies using Tobii equipment has now swelled to over 500 and is growing daily! These papers cover everything from HCI and usability thru psychology, reading studies, infant development and more.

Follow this link http://www.diigo.com/list/tobiieyetracking to go to the index and search by category.

For questions on your applications and system needs please contact Acuity on sales@acuity-ets.com or 01189 000795.

We Can (and Will!) Eye Track Almost Anything… August 4, 2010

Posted by Jon Ward in eye tracking, Marketing, Media, Shopper Research, Studio, Technology, Tips And Tricks, Tobii.

As part of our claim to be able to eye track almost anything (not parrots before you ask!) within reason a client asked us if we could eye track someone applying moisturiser, face wash or having a shave….. not being one to back down from a challenge I said “sure we can” and then left thinking how… as the Tobii Glasses would be great if I was shaving my legs (not that I do of course!) but difficult to wear and use while shaving or rubbing lotion into my face. So I came up with an alternative using a T series eye tracker and a camera… and here is the result – free head movement and the ability to moisturise without smearing the lenses on the Tobii Glasses.

And before anyone asks, no I am not wearing lipstick, no I don’t normally pose this much in front of an eye tracker and I did NOT cut out the bit at the end where I look at myself and say “Go get ’em tiger”. For any other questions or odd things you want to eye track contact us at sales@acuity-ets.com or call us on 01189 000795.

Eye Gaze Data and the Correlation With Mouse Movement June 2, 2010

Posted by Jon Ward in Advertising, eye tracking, Market Research, Marketing, Media, Studio, Technology, Tips And Tricks, Tobii, Usability & UX.

At Eyetrack UX today in Leuven, Blegium I was fortunate to hear a talk from Dr Anne Aula who is a Senior User Experience Researcher at Google Inc, over in the US. As part of her presentation about how and why Google uses eye tracking she presented some interesting statistics about the percentage of correlation between the eye gaze data and mouse movement during a SERP test they recently did. Out of their user group who were performing a task on their search page (Google – OBVIOUSLY!) 42% of participants didn’t have any active mouse movement during the course of the task, that leaves 58% of the people that did move their mouse around as they were doing things…. but she didn’t stop there. Recently there has been blogs and tweets and more about how much mouse and eye data ‘can be assumed to be the same’ and we have been defending the point that we have (and our clients have…) thousands of hours of test data to prove that the claimed 60-80% (depending on who you listen to) correlation between mouse and eye data – is wrong!

Anne went on to say that out of the remaining 58% of our group, only 10% (which is in fact 6% of the bigger group!) displayed matched data between horizontal mouse movement and eye gaze data. For vertical movement it is a little higher at 32% – therefore 19% of the overall sample size. The final statistic is interesting, 16% of the mouse movers (about 10% overall) found a link or item that they found interesting and ‘marked’ it by hovering their mouse over it as they continued to gaze the page.

So what does all this say? Mouse movement and eye movement bear very little relation to each other, until we make a decision (or pseudo-decision) and select and therefore click through to another page or similar. It also says that if you do get your mouse movement heatmaps, just pause for thought and think well if nobody is moving their mouse, or if they are hovering over a certain area – does that explain the random hot spot in the middle of nowhere….. I think it probably will.

Eye tracking is not the Holy Grail of all things usability, web based and screen based – however it is a hugely powerful tool, and as with any professional the more tools you have, the better you can produce results to the best of your ability. As the Studio software records your mouse movement, mouse clicks and every key press alongside your eye gaze data then you have a great piece of software for your toolkit!

For more information get in touch via jon@acuity-ets.com or check out the website at www.acuity-ets.com.

Men At Work : Down Under! May 13, 2010

Posted by Jon Ward in eye tracking, Market Research, Marketing, Studio, Tips And Tricks, Tobii.
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For those of you that follow @acuityets on Twitter (and if not, why not!) then you will have seen a number of tweets from me as I helped out our friends at Objective Digital in Australia, and ran some Tobii Studio workshops for their clients – both academic and commercial. Firstly I would like to thank James and Kylie from Objective and Bas from Tobii for their hospitality and penchant for paying the bar tab. Secondly I would like to point out that going to Australia for just one week is a bad move – just as I got over my jet lag (and initial hangover!) then it was time to come back, and I am now suffering a slightly more minimal variant of travel hangover!

The workshops were advertised as an introduction to Studio 2.1 but ended up being a 4 hour interactive session going over the basics of eye tracking, why certain methodologies are best, how to optimise Studio for performance and some best practice tips. We also used the time to discuss ways of analysing and working with pop-ups, dynamic content and other web 2.0 interactions. For our academic clients we went into more detail on timing issues, and compatibility with other software packages. Overall the days were tailored to the group in front of me and after fielding some tough questions, and some easy ones, we finished the week with a list of great ideas, feature requests for the guys at Tobii and very sore feet!

On the first Monday evening we also attended and presented at Mobile Monday, a monthly (and apparently global) event where people get together to talk all things mobile – including new tech, apps, phones, devices and of course eye tracking – all washed down with an inspirational beer or two. As we were doing a very temporary inverted X120 set-up we used a combination of blue tac, an eye tracker case and the flexible light for my eBook to put together a live demo of tracking a mobile handset with a remote eye tracker… it was all working beautifully until James (who is 17 stone and 6ft 5) banged into the table and threw our highly scientific set-up out of alignment slighty!

All in all it was a great trip, albeit a little tiring (for that, read a lot!) and the workshops seemed to help people of all levels. If you think that a workshop would help advance your teams understanding and ability with their Tobii system get in touch and we can tailor something to suit you. Alternatively for those new to eye tracking why not attend one of our free workshops – contact Natasha on natasha@acuity-ets.com for more details and a list of available dates.

Tobii Studio 2.1 Video Walkthrough May 7, 2010

Posted by Scott Hodgins in Advertising, eye tracking, Market Research, Marketing, Media, Shopper Research, Studio, Tips And Tricks, Tobii, Uncategorized, Updates, Usability & UX.
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This webinar recording gives an introduction to Tobii Studio 2.1, the leading software tool for eye tracking research. if you would like to know more please do get in touch to arrange a demonstration at your location.

NEWS FLASH : Acuity Show Signs Of Intelligence? April 1, 2010

Posted by Jon Ward in 22059602, Advertising, Market Research, Marketing, Technology, Updates.
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Yes it’s true! With the addition of our range of market and shopper research tools to supplement or compliment eye tracking we can now offer a whole new level of behavioural tools to give even more insight to your clients… Eye tracking is a powerful and flexible tool and with the advent of widescreen trackers, head mounted (body worn) units for free roaming tests and the flexibility of the Tobii X series to also test real world objects we can add valuable data to research on a wide multitude of fields across the research industry, marketing and media sectors and academic world. Our new suite of products give us the power to validate our findings, identify areas we made need to delve into further and also add previously uncaptured data into the mix.

Audience counting / attention tool :

I have blogged about this before, and the interest has been fantastic. Using a shelf, fixture or window based camera this tool allows the operator to capture the number of viewers, potential viewers and the dwell time of people interacting with their stimuli or media. Think about how many people walk past a shop window, and then think of how many actually stop and look in at your range of products…. if this conversion rate between people with the opportunity to see the display (and therefore be tempted to com in and purchase) and those that actually viewed we may need to change something. With this tool you would have access to this data instantly. And not just from one location, display or fixture… these units can be linked together to have hundreds of cameras across a site or an estate all capturing useful and valid metrics such as the number of people passing a point of interest, number of viewers, average dwell time, peak flow times and more. This data can be accessed remotely via a web client, ideal for corporations, brand managers and owners to review their estate from the office or home. But there is more functionality as well, as the system will also capture the gender of your viewers and break them into one of four age groups so you have a very detailed demographic breakdown of all your customers, and potential customers – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On top of that we can integrate the system into a digital signage system so we can look at determining which advert was the most popular on a rolling advert stream, did it meet it’s target demographic or we can change the advert to suit the audience – automated, tailored marketing…. there are a couple of screenshots below but contact me at sales@acuity-ets.com for more details and to arrange a demonstration.

Queue counting :

In busy retail environments, airports and public locations  (just to name a few examples) the management and handling of queues are vital for both smooth operation of the business or location, managing customers expectations and also health and safety. We have all been waiting to check in at the airport and wondered how long would be stuck there (and that we should have maybe checked in earlier/ online!) what if the screens that were guiding us along the route showed us an accurate wait time (and intermixed that with tailored marketing messages using the audience tool above!). How about if we knew exactly how many people were in a  queue at any one time so that we know where to assign staffing resources? If we are managing separate queues we can get an indication of the time taken by different employees or departments to clear the queue… or simply capture data about the peak and average times to clear the queue, traffic flow through the area and more. This system can use either top mounted or side facing sensors making it incredibly easy to adapt to any potential location. Again contact Acuity on sales@acuity-ets.com for further details, or a demonstration.

People counting :

Within all retail and public areas managing the number of people or visitors is important, and this can aid with managing the environment, staffing levels and areas such as health and safety. For facilities such as shopping centres and franchised areas rents and charges can be validated and adjusted relative to the people flow around an area. People counting technology has come a long way since a person with a clipboard clicking on a hand held device or a infra red beam being broken by someone walking through (and being confused by multiple people entering / exiting at the same time). By using sensors placed overhead we can accurately count people in a out of locations, and link these to multiple entrances or exits, thoroughfares or areas.

 Traffic flow monitoring :

An incredibly powerful tool that not only takes people counting one stage further but also allows you to automatically monitor how your customers behave in store. We can follow customers around the store or environment  (no video or personal data is stored – eliminating any data protection issues) and using advanced image processing the system can accurate follow people even after they merge or converge (a cuddling couple for example) to give incredibly granular data. By breaking the environment down into areas of interest, in the same way as we would when eye tracking, we can then follow each person through their journey. On top of this we can then look at heat maps of traffic flow (example below) and also look at the most common and popular routes through the environment, broken down into maybe departments, and then sub-departments! Use this to plan the layout of the environment, revisit poorly attended areas or focus additional research to eliminate potential issues. For a demonstration of the amazing technology behind this system drop us a line at sales@acuity-ets.com.

That is just a little taster of the functionality of  this new range of products we offer – individually they are incredibly powerful, combined they give a level of detailed data invaluable in many applications. Add eye tracking into the mix and the possibilities are endless! Comments as ever are welcome or contact me directly at jon@acuity-ets.com.

Why The Eyes Are So Important For Heavy Rain…. And User Experience Research March 2, 2010

Posted by Jon Ward in Marketing, Technology, Uncategorized.
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As the companies resident gaming geek I pretty much lost all of last weekend playing Heavy Rain on the Playstation 3 and being blown away by the virtual world, the environmental effects and some of the character details. Ok, if anyone has played the game then yes, sometimes the hands and fingers are a bit awkward, the teeth and mouth animations plus lip sync could be better and characters are a little stiff when they walk…. but in a game that has about 10 different endings, 50+ chapters and countless hours of animation and exploration this can be excused – but one thing that jumped out at me was the eye modelling.

In between chapters there is displayed a close up view of the characters face that you are about to take control of – and the level of detail on the face, skin, muscle movement and eyes are fantastic – as the screenshots below hopefully illustrate in some small way.

So what has all this got to do with eye tracking I hear you ask? Well bear with me… throughout the game as the story twists and turns the CGI characters have to sell you the story – these lifeless avatars have to convey emotion, passion, fear, and a hundred other emotions and in no small part do they tell the story with their eyes. And in this aspect Heavy Rain truly excels. What becomes apparent is that the eyes give away so much about what we are thinking, how we feel and more – it happens in the game, and it happens when we capture eye tracking data in user testing.

Long standing studies show that our eye movements can indicate when we are recalling images or memories, when we are lying and so on – when we are testing on a user site they can give away elements of confusion, engagement and emotional interaction. Reports indicate that as much as 60% of our actions are subconscious, which is why tracking eye movements give us access to hidden insights and why eye tracking is a powerful tool when used correctly. As technology and measures develop eye tracking and biometric measures will be allied to neuroscience and then we will be unlocking a massive part of the user experience, both the visible elements and those that are hidden…. and that is surely an exciting prospect.

Until then… I have about 9 more endings to uncover!