The research software specialist iMotions has released a remote version of its data collection platform. The appropriately dubbed Online Data Collection module was built to make sure scientific research could continue outside of a traditional lab environment during the pandemic.
The Online Data Collection module is based on iMotions’ Desktop Solution, and combines a browser interface with a webcam that can capture facial expressions, eye movements, and other biometric information. Any data gathered through the platform is then imported into the desktop solution for processing and analysis, where it can be supplemented with self-report information from user surveys.
According to iMotions, the solution gives researchers a way to gather data when health restrictions make it unsafe to do so in a laboratory setting. It can also improve the quality of some of that data, since the information is collected in a natural environment that more accurately reflects real-world conditions. Researchers using the module can design, distribute, and analyze data remotely, and can target thousands of respondents from a range of demographic backgrounds, depending on the design of the study.
“The future of human behavior research isn’t in the lab alone, but in complementing that by measuring and analyzing behavior in natural environments,” said iMotions Founder and CEO Peter Hartzbech. “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a short-term need to get into the real world, but it’s only reinforced the overall need of researchers seeking to gain as much understanding as possible.”
“Online Data Collection allowed us to gather insight remotely – a critical feature for anyone who needs to gather data outside of a major population center, including rural locations, or from across the country in a cost-effective way,” added Forward Group Managing Partner Greg Deters. The Forward Group is one of the organizations that helped test the new solution.
In 2017, iMotion partnered with Isobar and the MIT Media Lab to track emotional responses in virtual reality. Allied Market Research, meanwhile, has predicted that COVID-19 will help drive a $24.34 billion video analytics market.
February 23, 2021 – by Eric Weiss