In our ongoing effort to support and shape the future of the market research industry, we are continuously experimenting with new technologies, looking for better and faster ways to generate more usable and more impactful insights.
Here, we’d like to share a few of the technologies that we’re particularly excited about:
virtual and augmented reality
Virtual reality was officially integrated into our qualitative and quantitative research protocols last December and we have used it to create environments that include banks, retail spaces and other environments. It allows us to evaluate and optimize concepts for new products, services and settings in ways that have not been possible before.
We can immerse respondents into environments that are so realistic that they forget what they are experiencing is not real. This gives us the ability to explore behaviors or evaluate concepts in situ, from a comfortable and controlled environment. And because the stimuli are digital, they can exist as multiple alternate concepts that are easily created, managed, and modified as necessary over the course of a project.
VR eye tracking
While eye tracking has been around for a long time, it is only now being integrated into VR hardware and software. By way of tiny infrared cameras affixed to the inner lens of the head- mounted devices, a respondent’s gaze can be tracked, layered on top of the virtual scene, and observed in real time.
It can also be mapped with other respondent data to create aggregate heat maps and gaze plots, revealing likely distribution of attention within an environment of interest.
Biometrics (heart rate and skin conductance) give us measurement of unconscious response to specific ideas or concepts.
When synthesized with other more traditional metrics, they can provide deeper, more thorough insights.
artificial intelligence and machine learning
rsg is exploring the usefulness of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as it relates to market research. We have been experimenting with voice to text conversion and AI assisted text analytics to see if these tools can be used to find hidden insights buried within existing data sets.
As part of this work we have been looking at how Machine Learning could be applied to complex reports to reveal intricate relationships between respondents and their answers.
anonymous video analytics
AVA technology uses cameras to anonymously measure a number of demographic elements, like age, gender, and the emotional state of a person, as well as more technical information such as viewership opportunities versus actual views and viewing duration.
This insight can provide real-time analytics for retailers and advertisers to help determine content placement or campaign effectiveness. rsg first used AVA technology five years ago as part of a study with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and Intel.
rsg is excited about the opportunities that new technology may bring to research. We are only interested in using new technology when it elevates the insights we gain. This is why we continue to experiment with and test various tools as they become available. If you have questions, or would like to learn more about these technologies and how they might serve you, please reach out to us.