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Behavioural Research News

www.tracksys.co.uk 0115 922 4539
September 2009

Welcome to Behavioural Research News Edition 5

This issue sees the launch of the new iView X high-speed remote eyetracker from SMI, as well as a new version of The Observer XT. We've also been making the news with our mazes!

In this issue:

Product Update

The RED 250Hz has arrived!

Announcing the latest edition to the iView X family - the RED 250Hz, which gives you;

  • Precise measurement of saccades as well as fixations
  • A simple and easy to use interface
  • Minimum latency - faster lock-on and reaction
  • An All-in-One eyetracking lab. with an award winning design 
  • Heat and attention maps and detailed statistics from webpages and video
  • Add-on modules for Face Recording and Reading

Contact us for more information, or to arrange a demonstration.

The Observer XT 9.0 upgrade offer

Announcing the arrival of The Observer XT 9.0. Upgrades from earlier versions of The Observer are available at discounted rates. If you have not received your upgrade offer yet please contact us.

New features include;

  • Intervals and continuous sampling in the same project
  • Latency analysis
  • Better handling and stability when using very large coding schemes and data
  • Search function to quickly find comments in your data
  • Inexpensive 'Coder* licences' for coding and visualization. Ideal for sharing the workload on a large project and only 20% of the cost of a full licence. Buy a pack of 5 licences for the price of 4!

*Allow data collection and display only. Design and analysis require a full licence.

New features for Radial Maze

We custom-build all our mazes and open fields. Our standard 8-arm radial mazes come with integrated Infra-Red underlighting. This enables rodents with different coat markings to be tracked on the same maze, without any changes to the settings. Our mazes also have automated door control using EthoVision via TTL connections and come with removable food cups at the end of each arm.

A recent EthoVision customer in Germany requested a standard 8-Arm Radial maze for mice, but also wanted to integrate Head Detector Photobeams into the food cups. The number of photobeam breaks, as well as the duration of the breaks, for each individual Head Detector could then be collected within EthoVision and used alongside the tracking data for analysis.

User Stories

Digital Recording and Analysis system for Duck Welfare Research

Dr Keelin O'Driscoll of the The Centre for Animal Welfare and Anthrozoology, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, needed a flexible digital video recording system. She is working on a research project looking at how to provide water for bathing to commercially farmed ducks to improve their welfare.

High-quality recordings were required from multiple cameras overlooking pens not local to Cambridge. There are many digital security systems available, but they are all built for that market. They are often unsuited to producing long video recordings in a format for analysis e.g. a 24 hour recording as one file that can be opened in The Observer XT software. Tracksys listened to her requirements and supplied her department with a flexible system with cameras, wiring and recording systems that can be put up at field sites quickly and easily. They can then be left recording video and just after midnight each night they export video files of the length and time recorded (e.g. 4 hours, from 10.00 a.m.) onto an external hard drive. At every visit to the field site all that is required is to swap over the hard drive, and all the recordings can then be viewed in Cambridge using Windows Media Player, or The Observer XT.

Keelin comments 'We are very pleased with the ease of operation of the system - when we visit the sites we have a lot of direct measurements to take from the birds, and to be able to pick up the video recordings without having to run any export or transfer process has been excellent'.

New Usability Lab. at DeMontfort University

Led by Professor Stephen Brown the IOCT Usability Lab will
provide a vitally important facility for testing and
evaluating user responses to new technologies and new
ideas. The lab. is equipped with multiple video and
audio streams and an array of response-capturing
equipment, including key logging, eye movement,
physiological responses and analysis using the
Observer XT. The Usability Lab. will be available
to IOCT researchers, but also offered commercially
to creative industry businesses.

The Institute Of Creative Technologies (IOCT)
is a unique research environment which sits
at the intersection of science, technology,
humanities and the arts.


Water Maze featured on 'Horizon'

A Tracksys Water maze combined with EthoVision has been featured on 'Horizon' (Cannabis - The Evil Weed). Research using the maze is being conducted by Dr Cathy Fernandes at the Institute of Psychiatry.


9th December

EthoVision XT Training Workshop. Apply

10th December

SIMI Motion Analysis Workshop. Apply

11th December

The Observer XT Training Workshop. Apply


1-3 September


17-18 September


17-21 October


www.tracksys.co.uk 0115 922 4539 info@tracksys.co.uk