Pocket Observer

Imagine a herd of sheep in a paddock, a group of monkeys at the zoo, or a pack of dogs in a park. These animals are constantly on the move and need to be observed unobtrusively. In these situations, Pocket Observer offers the best solution for your research by combining the power of The Observer XT with the portability of a handheld device. With Pocket Observer, you can record observational data in great detail. And, Pocket Observer makes data coding easy with its user-friendly interface.

  • Maximum freedom in moving.
  • Observe unobtrusively.
  • Code on a smart phone, tablet, or rugged handheld computer.
  • Cost-effective.
  • User-friendly software. 

Mobile observation with Pocket Observer

The Pocket Observer was designed for ambulatory and outdoor observations. It is a special add-on for live coding that runs on smartphones, handheld computers, tablets, and on rugged devices that are suitable for outdoor use. Even in hostile environments, such as tropical rainforests and deserts, you can count on Pocket Observer. The interface of Pocket Observer is especially designed for live behavioral scoring. And just like with The Observer XT, you can add behaviors while you are observing and score continuously as well as instantaneously (at set intervals).

Choose the best handheld for your research

For on-the-go scoring with Pocket Observer, we offer several handheld devices. These are ideal for live scoring of animal behavior in the field. Rugged handheld computers can withstand high humidity and extreme environmental temperatures and are suitable for observing animals in hot and dusty climates. They can  resist a drop of one meter, are splash proof, and can operate in temperatures ranges from –20°C to +60°C. Most rugged handhelds are keyboard-based. Scoring behavior takes place by pressing the corresponding key of the keyboard, allowing you to fully concentrate and keep your eyes on the animal you are observing. Most handhelds can be delivered with additional batteries and a protective carrying case.

Pocket Observer on Android

Pocket Observer runs on any handheld device including smartphones, that run on an Android OS 2.2 or higher. The Pocket Observer for Android has many advantages: Behavior of multiple subjects can be scored live, on-site, with a high level of accuracy. The interface of Pocket Observer has been tested and redesigned to make it more intuitive. For example, the event recorder can be customized by magnifying behavior buttons in order to code behaviors simply and accurately by tapping the touchscreen. Additionally, Pocket Observer can be used in both portrait and landscape mode.

How does Pocket Observer work?

  • Set up your project in The Observer XT software on your main computer. The software allows for the setup of a coding scheme and definition of independent variables. An Android platform smartphone or tablet can handle up to 250 coding scheme elements.
  • Download your coding scheme onto Pocket Observer, running on your handheld device, and you are ready to start collecting your data. Check which code corresponds with which behavior, subject, or modifier. When you discover a new behavior during a live observation, you can add this to your coding scheme on the smartphone. You do not have to go back to your PC to make changes. With Pocket Observer software, you can use both time (instantaneous) and continuous sampling. Time sampling is a straightforward method that is often used in live observations.
  • During your observation you can code subject, behaviors, and modifiers. You can also insert markers, for example, when you notice an interesting event, something unexpected, or an event that cannot be adequately described by the elements in the coding scheme. A marker is added to the comment field. Therefore, the marked event can easily be retrieved after the observation.
  • Per event you can add comments. When imported in The Observer XT, the text is visualized in the event log and in a separate window. After observing, you simply import the observation data to The Observer XT for analysis. You can integrate your handheld observation data with audio, video, or physiological data. When uploading your data to The Observer XT, you can integrate all files into one observation project for joint visualization and analysis.