Pocket Observer

Imagine children on a playground, customers in a busy supermarket, or visitors in a museum. They are constantly on the move and you need to observe them unobtrusively. In these situations, Pocket Observer is the ideal solution to code behavior. 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 smartphone, tablet, or rugged handheld computer.
  •  Cost-effective.
  • User-friendly software.

Coding while walking around 

If you need to be mobile during observations, but also require accurate coding and analysis, Pocket Observer offers the best solution for your research by combining the power of The Observer® XT with the portability of a handheld device. Pocket Observer allows you to code behavior while literally looking over the shoulder of free ranging test participants, in just about any location. Furthermore, you can choose almost any Android smartphone as recording device making the Noldus Pocket Observer for Android a very cost-effective coding solution.

A handheld device for any environment

Whatever your requirements, we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the right device for your research. Heat, frost, mud, dust, or water poses no problem, since a handheld computer is available for any environment.

Use a smartphone to code behaviors
Use a smartphone to code behaviors.
Use a rugged handheld to code behaviors
Rugged handheld computers can be used in almost any kind of environment.

Pocket Observer on a smartphone or tablet

Pocket Observer is software that runs on handheld devices,  such as smartphones. When using an Android platform 2.2 or higher, this event recording tool can be used - attracting not nearly as much attention as a clipboard. The Pocket Observer for Android  has many advantages. 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.


Pocket Observer allows for the coding of behavior while literally looking over the shoulder of free ranging test participants, in just about any location, and still obtain a high level of accuracy.

How does Pocket Observer work?

  • Set up your project in The Observer XT research software. The software allows for the setup of a coding scheme and definition of independent variables. An Android platform smartphone can handle up to 250 coding scheme elements (Android), up to 100 when using the Windows.
  • Upload this coding scheme to Pocket Observer, running on your smartphone or rugged 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 by tapping the touchscreen. You can also insert markers. For example, when noticing an interesting event, something unexpected, or an event that cannot be adequately described by the elements in the coding scheme, you can insert a marker. 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. Easily record notes and write out conversations. 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 downloading your data to The Observer XT, you can integrate all files into one observation project for joint visualization and analysis.

Demo material