US survey: Over a third of Americans are interested in using attention computing

  • by Tobii
  • 6 min

Tobii Attention computing

Tobii recently completed a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 Americans, representative of the U.S. population, to determine what sentiments they have regarding attention computing. Initial findings show many Americans are interested in the technology and believe it has potential. However, many lack a basic understanding of what attention computing means.

The background

To better understand the survey results, it’s important to grasp what attention computing is and how it works. Attention computing is a technology that enables machines to better understand human attention and intent.

Attention computing is a part of the next generation of human-computer interaction, which today relies on keyboards, mice, and touchscreens but is shifting toward intuitive communication using our attention, gestures, and movement. Humans rely on their five senses to gather information to interact without friction and understand each other. Then, our brains process this information and facilitate a response. To create technology that works in harmony with human behavior, it also needs to understand us, rely on sensors to gather information, and interpret data rapidly. This is where attention computing comes in — leveraging this sensor data and deep learning algorithms to create insights and value for the end user.

tobii what is attention computing

Attention computing makes our devices intelligent, intuitive, and efficient. But it also uncovers truths about human behavior. What could attention computing mean for you?

The methodology

To further understand the role that attention computing can play in the lives of everyday Americans, it is important to establish a benchmark understanding of how the technology is perceived. We asked four questions to more than 1,000 Americans representative of the U.S. population and provided a short definition of attention computing.

For each question, we received crosstabs of data specific to gender, age, household income, region, family status, education, employment status, marital status, race/ethnicity, and neighborhood (rural, suburban, urban).

The lessons

Results show that more than a third (39%) of Americans are interested in using attention computing, and nearly 40% would invest in the technology. However, almost half of Americans (41%) are unsure about what industries should be using attention computing devices. While those aged 35-54 (50%) and 55+ (39%) want eye tracking for safety reasons, those aged 18-34 are more interested in eye tracking for wellness (54%) purposes. This leads us to believe more education is necessary to highlight the many uses and benefits of attention computing spanning a variety of industries and verticals.

The findings

With data in hand, we curated the points we felt were most insightful concerning our industry, our work, and its impact on the general population. They are outlined below.

Man driving a car checking on children in the backseat


  • Safety (45%) and wellness (41%) drive American interest in attention computing.
  • Entertainment (28%) and career (28%) are other avenues where the average American would want to apply attention computing technology.
  • More than half (54%) of younger Americans (18-34) are most interested in the personal growth-related attributes of attention computing.
  • Men are more interested (52%) in purchasing attention computing technology than women (28%).
  • Those with income under USD50k are more interested (45%) in purchasing attention computing technology than those who make USD50k-100k (41%) and those who make USD100k+ (34%).
  • People living in the Southern and Western US are more interested (both 42%, respectively) in attention computing than those living in the Northeast (39%) and Midwest (33%).
  • All regions except the Northeast are focused more on the applications of attention computing for safety; the Northeast is most interested in wellness applications (49%).
Surgeons - medical simulation


  • While nearly half (41%) are unsure about where attention computing can be applied when prompted, most believe in the technology’s potential in healthcare (32%) and gaming (28%).
  • In fact, nearly a third of respondents (32%) believe that eye tracking should be used in healthcare. The same applies to the following industries:
    • Gaming (28%)
    • Auto (23%)
    • Market research (19%)

Why attention computing?

Attention computing complements many technologies and is already being used in various settings, including behavioral studies and research, healthcare, education and training, gaming, and automotive. As attention spans change and the types of media vying for consumer attention diversify, attention computing can bring more clarity on what people are paying attention to.

Our journey to create innovative tech for a better future began over 20 years ago, and we’re on a mission to build technology that understands human attention and intent. Our solutions help you leverage eye tracking and the data brought to you by attention computing in research, development, and commercialization, no matter your industry.

Discover which product may be the right one for your specific needs.

Learn more about attention computing

Read our article to find out more about attention computing.

  • Advanced eye tracking
  • Fields of use
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