Measuring visual engagement

Glass head eye-tracker

The visual world can be captivating: the sunrise over an ancient city, the spectacle of a high-speed car chase, the tension as an interviewer cross-examines a slippery politician. For individuals and organisations making visual content (including television and films) an important question is: what makes some material engaging and some not?

BVI researchers Iain Gilchrist, Felix Carter, Hugo Hammond and Sam Beech are developing a suite of methods to measure visual engagement. Methods range from questionnaires to physiological responses such as heart rate, eye movements, skin conductance and EEG. These methods are being carefully and rigorously validated to allow us to compare different version of content or different display technologies for their intrinsic immersive properties.

This allows us to maximise visual immersion and engagement and, in turn, deliver the best visual experience for the user. This work is being supported by the MyWorld project, BBC R&D, and BT and is a collaboration with researchers at Bath University.

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