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The EyeTracking Blog

By EyeTracking Inc. on 4/24/2013 9:48 PM
How many times each day do you use an app on your smart phone? once? twice? dozens? Most of us use apps almost without thinking—they have become a part of the way we work and play. You are no doubt very aware of how apps are changing how you travel (buy a ticket, check in, reserve a car, find the nearest coffee, get a weather report and on and on). And there's a visible impact on our shopping, with apps for all the major online shopping sites becoming more and more popular.

At latest count, there are at least 700,000 apps EACH for iPhones and Android smart phones. That's a lot of apps. Just as you might expect, some are good and some aren't. Remember about 10-15 years ago when everyone rushed to build a website? Some worked, some didn't. We're going through the same thing with apps right now.

Apps that don't deliver what the consumers want are...
By EyeTracking Inc. on 9/6/2012 8:02 AM
When evaluating new technology, skepticism is a useful reflex. Are you sure it works? How do you know? Where is your evidence? Such questions help to weed out the ineffective tools and improve the ones that show promise. In this way, skeptics guide the evolution of the very technologies of which they are skeptical. And if you're skeptical of that conclusion, just look at eye tracking. Today's excellent visual behavior analysis tools are in part the result of a century and half of skepticism regarding the accuracy of data collected, the applicability to different research areas and the realism of the testing setup. For example, if no one had ever said, "Hmm, that chin rest and bite bar sure do seem to distract the participant," then progress toward systems with head movement correction would not have been as swift.

At this point, the technical quality of eye tracking is well-established....
By EyeTracking Inc. on 8/15/2012 1:58 PM
"To the man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

The origins of the preceding quotation are unclear - most likely Kaplan or Maslow, but some argue that Mark Twain said it first. No matter the author, this analogy is apt to describe a current trend in our industry. After roughly a half-century of amazing technological advancements and staggering feats of R&D, eye tracking researchers have created some extremely useful hammers. We have hammers that measure every fixation, saccade and flicker of your pupil. We have hammers that sit on your desk and hammers that rest unobtrusively on the bridge of your nose. We have hammers that can track the eye of pretty much anyone pretty much anywhere doing pretty much anything. I am referring, of course, to our eye tracking hardware systems, which seamlessly translate raw physiology into accurate visual behavior data. Regardless of the source of this well-worn quote, the point can be easily applied to our own high-tech tools.

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By EyeTracking Inc. on 6/15/2011 8:05 AM
If you perform a Google image search for 'eye tracking,' your results will consist primarily of heat maps - heat maps of webpages, heat maps of advertisements, heat maps of grocery store shelves, heat maps, heat maps and more heat maps. They are the most recognizable eye tracking analysis tool. They are the most commonly requested eye tracking deliverable. At this point, it isn't too much of a stretch to say that the heat map has become the logo for the eye tracking industry as a whole.

However, this post will not be another puff piece about the unmitigated value of this oft-used data rendering. EyeTracking, Inc. will toot its own horn just this once to say that we were the originators of the heat map (or GazeSpot as we call it) back in the 1990s, and then we will proceed to a more objective discussion. What we'd like to talk about today is the manner in which these graphics are misused and misinterpreted....