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Lubbock, TX (Profitable.com) Effective eye tracking just became affordable and accessible with the shipping of Grinbath’s EyeGuide™ to customers worldwide. Invented by usability researchers at Texas Tech University in 2010, EyeGuide™ has undergone hundreds of user tests as part of its development process. The result is a complete hardware and software system that works on both Windows and Macs, calibrates any user in any lighting condition, and retails at under $1,500.
“We needed eye tracking in our lab because of client demand,” said Dr. Brian Still, CEO of Grinbath and the current director of Tech’s Usability Research Lab. “Many of the current eye tracking devices, although very good, are far too expensive for many out there. I just couldn’t choose buying one of those over paying a graduate assistant. So we made EyeGuide™. Initially it served as a solution just for us, but as we worked with it and improved it, we realized that it offered a viable solution for others like us who research users or build products, design advertising, or engage in other activities that could benefit from eye tracking research.”
EyeGuide™ includes an adjustable, wireless headset that houses an infrared camera and LED light, which can be used inside or outside and, most importantly, with users who wear contacts, glasses, and even bifocals. Videos on the Grinbath website, http://www.grinbath.com, demonstrate actual testing of users, including children as young as three.
After testing as many users as needed, researchers can take advantage of EyeGuide™’s built-in analysis tools to generate data similar to what more expensive eye trackers offer, such as heatmaps, AOIs (clusters), gaze plots, and bee swarm. All video, select images, and .html and .csv data can also be exported to run in other programs. EyeGuide™ will also soon feature a real time API that allows researchers to monitor user activity and stream test data live to another program.
This feature, and all other future enhancements, will be free to customers for EyeGuide™’s lifetime. “Free upgrades, in fact, define Grinbath at its core,” said Dr. Still. “We’re educators and researchers, and we’re going to remain educators and researchers. We want EyeGuide™ to be affordable enough to buy—effective enough for others to rely on to get the job done. That’s why we will upgrade it as much as needed, for free, to make it better. Further, that’s why we’ve brought on an advisory board of leaders in user experience, psychology, medicine, web design, and other fields. Their sole role is to help us continue to make EyeGuide™ an effective, reliable solution that people can depend on to integrate into the work they need or want to do.”
In addition to free upgrades, Grinbath offers various educational opportunities to researchers and educators. The EyeSay™ webinar series will be kicked off on World Usability Day, November 10, 2011. The first webinar, “Visionaries in Usability,” will feature Dr. Tharon Howard of Clemson University, Dr. Joyce Carter of Texas Tech University, and Dr. Still. Together, they will discuss the use of eye tracking as an addition to the usability professional’s tool kit. Future webinars will include hot topics in eye tracking research and data collection such as discussions of methodology and data analysis. These webinars are free and can accommodate 100 participants