History of the Perception Analyzer
Model I was developed in 1984 to acquire data from focus group respondents by eliminating the impact of groupthink and other factors often found in qualitative research. The hardware for the first system required a desktop computer using DOS software. Ribbon cable and long aluminum rods hardwired the dials, and the interface was a standard rheostat.
Model II improved reliability and usability over Model I. It still operated on DOS software and was still hard-wired, but the system was much more mobile than its predecessor. The software was much more feature-rich and included a statistical processing package.
In 1993, Model III was introduced. It incorporated wireless communications (with hard-wired back up), making the system extremely mobile. The design integrated a digital readout on each dial, and the units were designed to handle three scales (0-5, 0-10, 0-100). The software was changed from DOS to Windows, making the system easier to learn and to use.
In 1997, we entered the education market with the Perception Analyzer. Teaming with the University of Georgia as a pilot site, we received valuable information on increasing the value and utility of the Perception Analyzer in the classroom. This culminated in 1999 with the introduction of the Learning Analyzer software. The new software included all the features that made the Perception Analyzer software so successful, as well as education features, such as lecture navigation, correct answer features, and easy-to-use question wizards. At the same time, the software was enhanced with more market research functions.
Listening to our clients in the higher education and meeting markets, the wired-only dial system was introduced in late 1999. The wired-only version is for permanent installation in auditoriums and lecture halls, and has the advantage of minimal set up time, ease of use, robust components for every day usage, and equipment security. Costs are much lower, making it possible to equip the 300+ theaters routinely used in large universities.
Model IV was introduced in 2005. Along with the new hardware, Model IV adds new versions of the Perception Analyzer software. The software expands on the multitude of features from past versions, and includes several new multimedia features.
In 2009, the Model V was built on the very popular and successful Model IV platform. Model V added button functionality to the dials, allowing for response confirmation through respondents and audience members pressing a button to “lock in” their response as opposed to all dials being polled regardless of individual participation. Model V also allows for dials to be engaged and disengaged by respondents and audience members as they enter or leave a room.