The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Technology News and Reviews

Robo-journalism and the writing on the wall
The pace of development in translation technology is eye watering. Translation services from companies like DeepL and Google are posing threats to multiple industries and jobs as the technology behind their software becomes increasingly refined.
Mural
Ever been out doing fieldwork and had to dial into an analysis session? I have. Mural is a collaboration tool you might consider using to help.
Chatbots: the latest addition to our qual toolkit?
Let's talk chatbots. The technology around this computer program, designed to simulate human conversation, has seen significant growth in the past 12 months. Brands are developing chatbots to help consumers with everything – from finding their nearest store right through to ordering pizza.
Carboard cut-outs with Nintendo Labo
It's kind of ironic that the most innovative idea in technology this year so far consists of a few sheets of cardboard: Nintendo Labo for the Switch console. Labo consists of a video game and some pre-cut cardboard sheets. Slot these pieces together, though, then add the Switch controllers, and the magic begins.
How the iPhone X will reshape our industry
Last November, iPhone X burst on to the scene. In among the glossy launch video, there's one thing that stands out: Apple's use of facial recognition technology.
Crowd surfing into VR
Last year, Snapchat launched its new Crowd Surf feature. Using computers that are far too clever for their own good, Snapchat uses AI machine-learning technology to analyse when lots of people are simultaneously recording the same musical performance.
Human face of Mechanical Turk
With all the talk about Artificial Intelligence you'd be forgiven for thinking that the world was on the brink of a Terminator-style takeover.
Danger of forgetting our skills
Uber… We all love it, right? As qual researchers, I'm sure it's the saviour of many a late night in the office or moderating groups.
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.