The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Technology News and Reviews

Facebook looks towards augmented reality
Facebook is placing big bets on augmented reality (AR) if new patents filed by Oculus are anything to go by. The Facebook-owned firm has plans to create augmented reality glasses be able to overlay images and videos on to real world environments.
Making things happen,... automatically
We now live in a world full of software and apps. Problem is, these often sit in their siloed place, merrily doing their thing, without consideration of the rest.
Altered images
Smartphones are great assets for us as researchers, allowing us to capture video and images in the moment wherever we are. Indeed, the camera element of my phone is probably one of the best tools I have in my pocket.
Join The Party
Meet Houseparty: the latest social networking app making a splash with teens. It's a live video chat app with a difference.
Free tools for better design
The ability to create powerful visual deliverables is increasingly becoming a skill that insight professionals need to master. But if, like most researchers, you don't have a background in graphic design, creating beautiful visual assets can be a real challenge.
Is technology always good?
There have been a couple of stories that caught my attention recently that have made me take a step back and think about technology and how we use it (or don't).
Hello… hello… hello…
Hello… hello… hello… That's what most of us call an Echo, but if Amazon has its way, the first thing that comes to mind in the future will be its far-field voice recognition device, which allows you to control all sorts of things using the Alexa Voice service.
Using Tripit?
What? You're a qual researcher and you're not using Tripit?
Moderating Robots
Five years ago, the ability for machines to 'talk' to us would have sounded like something from the far future. But today voice technology is scarily clever. Talk to Siri on your iPhone or Alexa on your Amazon Echo and they can organise your life!
VR takes over the world
There has been a lot of excitement about virtual reality in the world of research, particularly when it comes to qualitative research. Advances in technology, coupled with more affordable VR headsets, are opening up new opportunities for us as researchers.
The return of Google Glass?
Snapchat has long been one of the leaders in the social media sphere but it now looks to be making its mark in the physical world with the launch of its first tangible product.
Prisma mobile photo editing
As quallies, we're always on the lookout for new techniques to gain a deeper understanding of consumers' motivations and behaviours. Image sorting and magazine tear exercises are a great way to do this, as image associations help us get beyond the rational.
Pokemon catalyst
Unless you've been living under a rock with a Charmander for the past few weeks, you'll have heard about Pokemon Go, the new smartphone game taking the world by storm. With over 50 million downloads on Android devices alone, this is big.
1 Second Everyday
If, like me, you struggle to remember what you did last month, let alone last year, you'll fall in love with my new favourite app: 1 Second Everyday.
Good old days of Flip Cam
Technology, it's wonderful isn't it? It allows us to do so much we couldn't do previously. I mean, can you imagine what your life was like before a smartphone? Remember when you had to carry a map, or be somewhere on time.
Tech times two for the summer
As the summer draws ever closer and people start to jet abroad on their travels, we take a look at two great pieces of technology that could help us when conducting qualitative research internationally.
Getting down with the kids
While recently conducting research with kids, I learned the current equivalent of the now buried BBM.
Virtual Reality comes of age
This might be the year that Virtual Reality finally kicks off. Those of you who are of a similar age to me will remember the hype surrounding VR in the 90s. Back then, however, we were talking about hugely blocky experiences that simply didn't catch on.
This week I came across a fantastic new app called Storehouse, which allows you to create and share visual stories with your closest friends. The app does this by helping you to build beautiful collages of photos and videos, which can then be shared via a text message or URL.
There's been lots of excitement among quallies about lifelogging devices, with the Narrative Clip being just one example.
Finding time
We all know that we should be at the airport in good time. But, as frequent travellers, we like to push our luck. What's the point in getting there three hours before if we can leave it to the last minute?
Getting closer to the action
This year I was lucky enough to receive a GoPro for Christmas! As an avid rambler, I've been wanting to get one of these cameras for years so that I could film some of my walks around the countryside and share the footage with family and friends.
Travelling nationally and internationally offers us quallies the chance to listen to music, watch a film, do some work, or catch some well-earned sleep. I also like to listen to podcasts when I'm out and about.
Over the past few years, data visualisation has become one of the industry's hottest topics. Widely popularised by the self-proclaimed 'data journalist and information designer' David McCandless, we're now seeing ever more researchers trying to follow in his footsteps, making information beautiful.