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MattBetz
10-23-2011, 04:53 PM
Effective eye tracking just became affordable with the shipping today
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, 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.