Wearable Tech World Feature Article
June 09, 2014

Cleveland Indians Use Wearable Tech to Gauge Fan Experience

Major League Baseball has 30 team that each play 162 regular season games. With so many different regions, not every team has the same attendance and revenue capability, and small markets are always struggling to make ends meet. The league as a whole is experiencing fewer fans in the stands and game broadcasts are not getting high ratings, forcing teams to look for alternative solutions to generate revenues. The Cleveland Indians is a small market team deploying Tobii's wearable eye-tracking technology to study ballpark ad space.

The Tobii analysis division of the company provides eye-tracking research applied in usability studies, commercial market research and scientific communities. The glasses it manufactures has been applied by hospitals, engineering, sports, the entertainment industry as well as a communications tool by individuals with disabilities.

The technology was applied at Progressive Field in Cleveland to provide team advertisers and sponsors with an accurate view of what the fan actually experiences while watching the game. During the study, 47 fans were enlisted over a three-day period to wear the Tobii Glasses while they watched the game from different parts of the stadium. Their behavior was recorded in 30-minute samples with the goal of delivering the first-of-its-kind media value based on the actual fan experience.

This gave the team the ability to define media values for in-park viewing for specific signs throughout the stadium, allowing it to quantify fan attention. Knowing the amount of attention different signage in the park received could potentially be used to adjust prices for sponsors and advertisers.

Tobii used its technology to:

Define the scope of the study and determine the best eye-tracking tools to capture key data points.

Manage the experiment design and implementation of the study at the ballpark.

Process and analyze the eye-tracking data.

Collaborate with the Cleveland Indians to refine results in terms of media value.

The Tobii Glasses 2 has propriety technology designed to provide research quality eye tracking features with 3D eye modeling along with eye tracking on all eye types, persistent calibration and minimum loss during extreme eye movements. The glasses also provide another propriety technology which compensates for any slippage if the device moves while it is being used—an important component when the slightest movement skews the result of a research based on movement.

"We developed Tobii Insight as a consulting service to allow more organizations to use and gain the benefits of eye-tracking research. And we continue to see new and innovative applications and opportunities for us to work with a wide variety of businesses and organizations to help them study user behavior, identify opportunities and issues, and measure and compare performance,” said Barbara Barclay, general manager of Tobii North America.

Want to learn more about the latest in wearable technology? Be sure to attend Wearable Tech Expo, July 23 & 24 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.  Stay in touch with everything happening at the event -- follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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