Interview: Byron Reeves, PhD, Stanford

Adam Cellary
March 20, 2024

This interview between Adam Cellary of and Professor Byron Reeves of Stanford University covers several fascinating topics primarily focusing on media psychology, technology use, and the innovative Human Screenome Project. Reeves outlines the project's aim to meticulously track and analyze individual interactions with technology, revealing patterns of fragmented and idiosyncratic media use. By collecting data snapshots every few seconds from users' devices, the project has gathered a vast amount of data to study the nuances of digital engagement.

Byron emphasizes the fragmented nature of digital experiences, noting that the median segment of interaction is remarkably brief, with users frequently switching between activities. This fragmentation presents a challenge in understanding technology's impact on psychology and behavior, a central focus of Byron's research.

The discussion then shifts to the utilization of eye tracking in research and education. Byron highlights the benefits of using RealEye's eye tracking technology in his courses at Stanford, particularly for its efficiency and the practical insights it provides students into media psychology and user engagement. He describes how students use the technology to conduct experiments that measure attention and emotional responses to media, enhancing their understanding of how content design influences viewer focus and engagement.

Adam shares insights into the commercial and academic applications of RealEye's technology, discussing its use in user experience research, market research, and academic studies. He also touches on the potential future integration of eye tracking in everyday technology, such as smartphones and laptops, for hands-free interaction.

Throughout the interview, both speakers explore the broader implications of their work for understanding human interaction with media and technology. They discuss the potential of eye tracking and emotion detection technologies to advance our knowledge of attention, emotion, and engagement in digital environments. The conversation concludes with reflections on the exciting possibilities these technologies hold for both research and practical applications in designing more engaging and effective media content.

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