The Observer XT

Gathering data

Designing an ethogram (or coding scheme) is a crucial step in behavioral research. Choices made at this stage determine what you can do with your data later on. The ethogram is the actual measuring instrument. The Observer XT guides you through the process of building your ethogram for detailed, yet clear and efficient data recording.

Detailed behavioral observations

You can record subjects, behaviors, and modifiers by typing shortcut key codes, allowing you to keep your eyes on the scene, while scoring at great speed. The time of each code is recorded automatically and errors are prevented by an online check.

The Observer XT is the ideal tool for many researchers because it saves you time scoring behaviors and it allows you to synchronize and analyze multiple signals (video, audio, physiology, etc) all together.

  • Code behavior in a quantitative way and visualize them on a timeline

  • Easily integrate video and physiological data

  • Calculate statistics and assess reliability


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Score behaviors accurately

You can record subjects, behaviors, and modifiers by typing shortcut key codes, allowing you to keep your eyes on the scene, while scoring at great speed. The time of each code is recorded automatically and errors are prevented by an online check.

Code live or view the video and code behaviors accurately from re-playing the video. Check out the coding scheme below to get an idea of how this works in the software. Note that you can also code, edit, or add comments in Chinese, Russian, and Japanese characters.

Screenshot The Observer XT coding scheme animal

Work with video and audio

The use of video adds great flexibility to behavioral studies. It allows you to make detailed observations and frame accurate descriptions of fast moving phenomena. Audio signals are visualized providing another great visual aid when observing behavior.

You can easily position the video, play it back at different speeds, play it frame by frame, and play multiple videos at the same time. All data play in sync: when moving through the data, the video and audio follow and vice versa. You can set a loop in the video (or audio) file to score a certain episode in detail, or use the quick review button to take a small step back in the video. 

After the observation, you can easily create a video highlights clip by using the improved episode selection.

The Observer XT is compatible with Viso and MediaRecorder: software tools for recording video and audio with a wide range of cameras and microphones.

Apes in Seoul Zoo 2

Integrate data modalities

In The Observer XT behavior and physiological responses can be studied together. Files from data acquisition systems can be imported and then visualized along with the video, revealing the animal’s inner world. Detailed analysis has become available in the latest release. Synchronization is guaranteed by a continuous sync signal sent from The Observer XT, making the system immune to clock differences, drift, and missing samples. Sections of the physiological data correlating with interesting behaviors can be exported for further analysis. 


Combine The Observer XT with TrackLab

TrackLab will aid you in the complete process of your work on spatial behavior. It is perfectly integrated with The Observer XT. TrackLab lets you import the collected tracking data in real-time or offline. The collected data can be visualized, processed and analyzed. Furthermore, you can create interactive systems that respond in real-time to the location or spatial behavior of subjects being tracked.

Learn more about TrackLab and The Observer XT in animal husbandry.


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.

How does it work?

The Pocket Observer was designed for ambulatory and outdoor observations. It is a special add-on for live coding that runs on smartphones and tablets that are suitable for outdoor use. 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).

three sheep in a meadow with a blue sky

Coder Licenses

A Coder License is the ideal solution for when you need to work with several people on one research project. Several observers can work on a project at the same time using The Observer XT Coder License, which allows for coding and visualization only. After all behaviors are coded, you can collect the observations in your main project with a full license of The Observer XT and perform data selection, visualization, and analysis. 

  • Cost-effective
  • Work together on a research project
  • Save time and resources
  • Score behavior live on the spot
  • Use the read-only project to score pre-recorded video
  • Maintain control of the collected data