SIGN UP for NEWS
Get our latest press releases by email.

The EyeTracking Blog

Sep 15

Written by: EyeTracking Inc.
9/15/2011 3:28 PM  RssIcon

There's a lot to like about EyeWorks™. Its unique brand of flexible efficacy makes it an ideal software solution for eye tracking professionals in a variety of academic, applied and marketing fields. To put it simply, EyeWorks™ IS the collective expertise of EyeTracking, Inc., refined and packaged for researchers everywhere. In the coming months we will highlight a few unique features of EyeWorks™ in the EyeTracking Blog.

Multi-System Compatibility

Would you use the same equipment to evaluate the cognitive workload of a pilot in the cockpit as you would to study the eye movements of a shopper scanning a supermarket shelf? Neither would we. Because of the diversity of research conducted at EyeTracking, Inc., multi-system compatibility is a must. In one study we might need a remote system with scene camera mode and excellent gaze data accuracy; in another we may require a head-mounted system with a high sampling rate and extremely precise pupil-size readings. It would be nice if there were an all-purpose eye tracker capable of managing every conceivable testing scenario, but this is not the case. The reality is that every system has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. The one that we use in a given study necessarily depends on who we are testing, where we are testing them and what we hope to discover.

To accommodate the myriad of contexts in which we work, we have designed EyeWorks™ to support (and in many cases enhance) systems from all of the leading hardware manufacturers. Our growing list of supported trackers includes different types (e.g. remote, glasses, head-mounted), sampling rates (e.g. 60Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz), testing scenarios (e.g. monitor, scene camera, projection) and collected data (e.g. gaze, pupil size, workload) among other variables. The advantages are obvious. In this highly technical field with so many moving parts, multi-system compatibility has allowed us to simplify things. We don't have to try to force our projects into the constraints of a particular eye tracker. We don't have to worry about different programs treating data differently. Best of all, we don't have to train our staff to work with multiple software packages because we've trained EyeWorks™ to work with multiple hardware systems. The result is maximum flexibility and consistency without sacrificing any functionality.

Now, we realize that for the average eye tracking researcher, making sure that your software is compatible with multiple systems probably isn't at the top of your wish list. You probably only have one type of eye tracker, or perhaps a few different models from the same manufacturer. So why should you care that EyeWorks™ is compatible with so many different systems? The answer is that we are currently experiencing an eye tracking arms race (or eyes race, I guess). Spurred on by innovators all over the world, technology is rapidly evolving and our industry is expanding in new directions. Take the tablet boom, for example. Many usability researchers have found that the eye tracker that they use to test websites on a computer is not conducive to testing apps on an iPad. Enter Eye Tracking Company X, who has just developed a new system designed specifically for research on tablets and mobile devices. In this situation, wouldn't it be nice if you could hop over to this new brand without missing a beat? Wouldn't it also be nice if you could analyze data collected with your old tracker in the same platform as your new tracker?

Therein lies the main benefit of EyeWorks™ multi-system compatibility. Eye tracking hardware is constantly becoming more accurate, more powerful and less expensive. At this point, it's difficult to predict which manufacturer will release the next great system. The only thing you can do to be prepared is build your eye tracking research using software that is designed to advance along with the technology, no matter where that technology comes from.

EyeWorks™ Hardware Compatibility Matrix: EyeWorks™ continues to adapt to lead the evolution of eye tracking. The Compatibility Matrix lists the manufacturers and models that are currently compatible with EyeWorks™, along with advanced feature compatibility. It's a pretty good start, but we're always looking for new systems to add to the list.

Contact our sales team if you are interested in purchasing EyeWorks or any of the eye tracking hardware systems listed here.

 

Tags:
Categories: Hardware, Software