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When first watching the Vision Pro announcement, you may be wondering who and what this headset are for? At least if your a VR enthusiast who has played or experienced VR before you at least feel the Apple Vision Pro is a strange first view into Apples interpretation of the future of technology. As a consumer it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But as a marketer… Oh boy… Buckle in because the Apple Vision Pro could be the next Big Leap in Marketing technology.

The Apple Vision Pro uses eye tracking for UX navigation

Eye tracking graphic

One of the biggest differences between the way the Oculus Quest 2 and the Apple Vision Pro utilize eye tracking is in how you interact with the device.

Unlike the Quest 2, Apple’s Vision Pro does not have any controllers… And instead uses precision eye tracking and your fingertips to effectively turn the location you look into your computer mouse.

Although the quest 2 also utilizes eye tracking, it’s not directly a feature of how you are supposed to interact with the device.

Why the Vision Pro Could Change Marketing Data Forever

Marketing data example image

By making eyeball tracking the primary method of how you navigate the interface, Apple has made it possible to use eyeball tracking as a method of collecting data on consumers.

Why does that matter?

That matters because it makes the ability for businesses to purchase and track your eye movement for marketing data and marketing information.

But Apple doesn’t sell my eye tracking data…

It doesn’t matter… Because businesses all over the world are actively grabbing your cursor data every time you interact with a website or app.

Computer mouse cursor

And despite how good Apple is at privacy with their own OS it is still very easy for marketers to track and learn information about you from the way that you interact on their website.

So how is the vision Pro headset going to change marketing…? Well we are going to learn a lot more about how you feel and think when you interact with websites and apps.

Eventually, businesses will be able to track your eye movements the same way they can track your cursor on a website.

What eye tracking tells marketers about you?

Eye tracking

Eye tracking tells us so much more about what you do and how you interact with the website.

If we know where you are looking, it tells us what grabs your attention… If we know how long you were looking… We know what grabs your attention most.

A good data analyst with just these parameters can know how to make small adjustments that have a big impact on your willingness to purchase a product or service from a business.

Other features of eye tracking that can give us a lot of information is things like pupil dilation or constriction… That can tell us if you focus in, or just browsing, or if something excites you, scares you, or bores you.

Depending on how much information Apple is willing to give to marketers and businesses using their own iOS internal advertising program, we may start to see massive shifts in the way marketers experiment and play with bringing your attention to their products or services.

Current eye tracking data is expensive and difficult to come by.

Person looking at a screen with data tracking overlays

Maybe one of the best marketing testing tools that business is currently have is the ability to run eye tracking tests to better understand how people feel, how much attention your ad gets, and specific points of adjustment that can be made.

The problem is, as far as data analysis goes… I tracking data might be some of the most expensive data to collect for an average business.

Why eye tracking data is expensive

There are a lot of things that make eye tracking data expensive in comparison to other types of data that can be free or really inexpensive to gather.

First is the technology that is used to collect information about how we currently browse the internet is in everybody’s pocket. Customers willingly and intentionally give up their interaction data on their phones every single day.

We have accepted that collectively as a culture… But privacy concerns have become bigger and more common as the effects of giving up our data becomes more publicly recognized. Obscure tools like VPNs have become so common that even if you have zero interest in any technology… You probably know what one is and have a basic understanding of how it’s supposed to work.

Why don’t we already have access to eye tracking data?

Young woman reviewing data on a transparent overlay screen

Eye tracking data requires a lot of technology that most users consider to be an invasion of privacy.

Although I personally find it difficult to believe that technology companies like Apple Facebook and Google don’t track our eyeballs… There is not a ton of good information proving that they do.

And for good reason… Companies like Apple Google Facebook and Amazon need your trust so that you buy their products. If collectively we know that our eyeballs are being tracked and we stop trusting these companies… It can affect their bottom line

So whether or not Google and Apple are tracking our eye movements while interacting with our devices, They don’t make that information readily available to the public.

The Big Question Apple Needs to Answer about the Vision Pro

There’s a lot of questions that Apple still needs to answer about the vision Pro headset and one of them is whether or not your eye tracking data will be available for advertisers to exploit

The Apple Vision Pro announcement was rather limited on information outside of things beyond basic specs, prices and user experience demonstrations.

On the other hand Apple has a great track record of valuing and limiting the privacy issues of the modern internet… But the modern internet is changing quickly with advancements in technology like VR, artificial reality, web 3, artificial intelligence, and so much more. Even the way marketers have historically tracked your information is eventually going away.

But that doesn’t mean that digital marketing will go away with it… So the biggest thing to keep your eyes out for are whether or not your eyes are being tracked…

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