GAINESVILLE (FOX 13) - Aboard the trolley in historic St. Augustine, a researcher from the University of Florida wears a device that looks something eyeglasses.
Along with looking out at what she sees, these "glasses" look back into her eyes. They measure her eye movement to determine how long she looks at each point of interest. At the same time, a special wrist band measures tiny bits of moisture on her skin.
Coupled with GPS, the new technology could be groundbreaking for recording exactly how people feel about what they're experiencing.
Researcher Jamie Kim is working with professor Daniel Fesenmaier at UF to develop the technology for the tourism industry.
"I'm trying to understand how people really experience their trip," explained Kim.
Using the technology, she says, theme parks could get real time feedback on exactly what visitors like and also use the data collected to design new guest experiences. Fesenmaier says the technology is superior in many ways to traditional surveys filled out by guests.
"The problem is most people don't answer, and the second is people don't really know how they feel," he said.
There's no mistaking how they feel when their eye movement and skin moisture are observed, he added -- in some ways, it's similar to lie detector tests.
Kim and Fesenmaier say the technology could be used in many industries outside tourism.
"It could sample people's reactions to music or paintings," continued Kim.
Potentially the technology could tell us how we feel about anything that we experience.