Eyetracking and the tablet

As someone who is interested in studying different tablet and e-reader devices (I’m currently in the process of planning the groundwork for my thesis), I am super intrigued by the fact that Poynter is extending its eyetracking studies to include tablets. The study they did in 2007 evaluated the differences in reader usage between print and online news, and now they are working to track not only eye movement, but also other ways that people interact with tablets, like swiping, zooming in and scrolling. I am totally fascinated.

This could be a big deal for not only the news industry, but also the trade book industry, which is my ultimate goal for employment. If Poynter’s study can help publishers understand how readers interact with the devices and the material, we can play on those strengths and weaknesses to provide better products.

The previous studies have only watched individual readers for a short amount of time, so it would be interesting to see the actual differences in eyestrain between tablet types if Poynter were to look at back lit screens and those with e-ink.

But hey, maybe Google’s new glasses will save us all the trouble and track the information for us.