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3M Expands Power of Visual Attention Service to Include Video Analysis, Free iPhone App

Scanning Tool Based on Vision Science Foretells Consumers’ Visual Journey

St. Paul, MINN. – (October 19, 2011) – SGIA Booth #1437 – 3M launched the fourth generation of its Visual Attention Service (VAS), which introduces video capabilities and sequencing features to the revolutionary scanning tool that is viewed by marketers as a more convenient and affordable alternative to eye tracking. Along with the release of VAS 4.0, 3M also launched an iPhone app for the Visual Attention Service (VAS) that allows users to snap a photo, run a scan and share results in seconds by assessing images they capture with a smart phone. It will soon release an Android app and offer side-by-side comparisons.

Used to increase the probability that viewers will notice the most desired elements of a design or physical location, 3M VAS enhances the visual impact of professional design across advertising, marketing, and all forms of digital and print media. Built upon decades of research on how consumers react to various visuals, 3M VAS marries deep vision science with cutting edge technology.

Previously offered only for still images, 3M VAS can now analyze video to illustrate how people are most likely to visually interact with any scene or setting, and identify where the average human eye will focus at any given moment. The software analyzes images, graphical and text elements of digital and print content through a series of algorithms that process important visual cues, such as colors, edges, faces, shapes and contrast.

"The ability to analyze video exponentially increases the applications for VAS, and really opens up a whole new world of possibilities," said Bill Smyth, business manager, 3M Digital Out of Home. "From infomercials to product placement in films, to point-of-sale displays and in-store signage, VAS with video offers marketers a level of accessibility to deep consumer insights that simply didn’t exist before."

3M is currently offering VAS video analysis as a consulting service. Customers will receive a prescriptive heatmap that travels on top of the video, with a traveling fixation indicator layered on top of the heatmap.

"We see VAS with video as particularly valuable to those looking to predict consumers’ visual journey in retail environments, and how that journey plays into the path to purchase," said Kelly Canavan, marketing manager, 3M Commercial Graphics. "VAS with video also excels in helping marketers and advertisers to stand out and meet their visual goals in the crowded universe of rich media and online video."

Version 4.0 also features significant upgrades to VAS still image analysis, including a valuable sequencing feature that demonstrates not only where the human eye is most likely to pay attention in the first few seconds of viewing an image, but the sequence of those fixation points as well. Also new are customized setting options for direct mail/email and in-store contexts, which automatically take into account how human vision interacts with different viewing circumstances.

The VAS service is available globally, and can be accessed at Since the 2010 launches of versions 1.0 and 2.0, and the June 2011 launch of VAS 3.0, several thousand customers have already experienced the benefits of VAS.

Check out more information on:

  • 3M VAS Free Trial (still image only)
  • 3M VAS explained
  • 3M VAS iPhone app

Learn more about the complete range of 3M graphics solutions at or visit 3M Commercial Graphics in booth #1437 at the 2011 SGIA Expo, October 19-21.

3M Commercial Graphics is proud to be a 2011 SGIA Gold Sponsor.


About 3M Commercial Graphics
3M Commercial Graphics help customers worldwide build brands by providing total large-format graphics and light management solutions. 3M manufactures or certifies lighting solutions‚ graphic films and graphic protection‚ flexible substrates‚ as well as inks and toners used to create large-format finished graphics that are consistent‚ reliable and durable. Learn more about 3M graphics products and programs by calling 1-800-326-3908‚ visiting‚ following us @3MGraphics on Twitter or at

About 3M
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $27 billion in sales‚ 3M employs about 80‚000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information‚ visit and follow @3MNews on Twitter.


3M Commercial Graphics
3M Center Building 220-12E-04
St. Paul‚ MN 55144 USA


Mary Prevost
Karwoski & Courage
(612) 342-9716


Connie Thompson
3M Public Relations