Eye-tracking glasses look for airport navigation clues

Oct 16, 2012
Eye-tracking glasses look for airport navigation clues
QUT researcher Andrew Cave with the eye-tracking glasses.

(Phys.org)—Do you love planes, airports and technology? And perhaps you've been lost at an airport at some stage in your travels?

If you're nodding your head, you're exactly the type of helpful person Andrew Cave is looking for.

The QUT Airports of the Future project researcher needs volunteers to don a highly sophisticated pair of eye-tracking glasses and spend an hour or two with him at the Brisbane International Airport.

In addition to some very cool technology, participants will be provided with a travel scenario and then followed on their journey through the airport wearing the Tobii glasses.

Queensland University of Technology researcher Andrew Cave is using sophisticated eye-tracking glasses to investigate how people navigate airports as part of the Airports of the Future research project.

It's all part of a study into how people use their to navigate their way around airports.

"The eye-tracking glasses we are using can capture what you look at and what your eyes focus on while you're moving through an airport terminal," Mr Cave said.

"The technology is fairly new and has been used for research to track what people look at on the shelves, but we believe this is the first time that such a technology is being used for a study in an airport environment.

"The eye-tracking glasses look similar to normal but they have a on one arm which is attached via a cable to a small recording device that can be stored in a pocket or clipped to your clothes.

"We're interested in what clues people intuitively use to navigate their way through an airport, and what the are. This might include things like signage, airport staff, fellow travellers and the building layout.

"We will use these experiments to help develop recommendations on how to improve the passenger navigation experience, which we hope airports throughout Australia will adopt. So, ultimately, people who take part will be helping everyone have a better passenger experience."

Mr Cave is a PhD industrial design researcher with QUT's School of Design. His research is part of a major long-term project at QUT called Airports of the Future.

Explore further: First driverless vehicles for public launched in Singapore

More information: People interested in taking part in Mr Cave's experiment can email him on ar.cave@qut.edu.au for more information. Participants will receive a $20 gift voucher to thank them for their time, and will also be provided with free airport parking on the day.

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