Tops Tools: Mobile Ethnography

Top Tools: Mobile Ethnography

By Insight Platforms

  • article
  • Mobile Ethnography
  • Qualitative Research
  • Mobile Web Surveys
  • Agile Qualitative Research
  • Online Qualitative

Mobile ethnography is a valuable tool for studying people in their cultural settings. It provides an in-context view of their behaviours, rituals, language, and interactions.

As part of a mobile ethnography project, participants are asked to self-record their behaviours, experiences, thoughts, and feelings about specific topics or task using their smartphones. It is also known as smartphone ethnography, smartphone qualitative, or qualitative research at scale.

If you’re looking to understand what it is and how you can use it, we would recommend reading our explainer on mobile ethnography.

And if you’re looking to find the right platform to run your own mobile ethnography from, then you’ve come to the right place. Browse the list below but note that it’s not exhaustive – find more solutions by searching the Insight Platforms Directory. There’s also no hierarchy implied.

Solutions for Mobile Ethnography


Indeemo is an in-the-moment resesearch platform that specialises in video research. It allows researchers to design flexible tasks for respondents using a broad range of features. Participants can share video, images or text and screen record, enabling omnichannel journey studies. Additionally, researchers can interact with participants in-the-moment with comments and push notifications, which can be sent from the moderator app.

Indeemo allows researchers to run multiple studies concurrently and is available in 10 languages. It also enables multiple qualitative research methodologies and offers enterprise grade security. For analysis, the platform features a Researcher Dashboard, which aggregates and organises uploads from respondents, using filters and search tools. It offers automated video transcription, keyword analysis and coding tools to save time on analysis. The dashboard can be shared with clients, colleagues, and recruiters.

Indeemo Logo - Insight Platforms


Indeemo is the market leader in mobile ethnography, a form of online qualitative research that helps researchers elicit rich insights from respondents.

Field Notes

Field Notes is a platform for capturing and managing high-quality, self-shot videos from people around the world via their smartphones – whether it’s customers, employees, research participants, healthcare professionals, or patients. The intuitive app and platform make it simple to capture the content you need: set tasks, stimulate responses, and stay on track by communicating with your contributors using in-app messaging and an online portal.

Available for iOS and Android, researchers can fully customise the look and feel of individual projects and control any content that’s shared. It’s also easy to manage large numbers of contributors and tasks. The platform is localised in nine different languages and offers support from their experienced team if help is needed throughout the process.


EthOS is a mobile ethnography platform for capturing authentic experiences as they happen. The tool is made up of an app used by participants for data collection and a dashboard used by researchers for organising and analysing participant entries.

The app’s user interface mimics popular chat platforms so it can fit into the everyday lives of participants. As participants complete picture and video-based tasks, moderators can probe them in-the-moment via EthOS’s live chat functionality allowing researchers to probe more deeply into specific topics. The dashboard used by researchers has filtering capabilities with workspaces and reports that can be set up before a project starts.

Automated transcriptions, sentiment, and tone analysis features are also available, along with template reports to speed up insight discovery. EthOS is a full DIY tool with optional help from a team of researchers who can provide project support or manage full-service projects end-to-end.


EthOS is a mobile research platform for CX, UX and Market Research teams to conduct ethnographies, diary studies and chat-based interviews.

CiviCom ThoughtLight®

Civicom ThoughtLight® is a mobile qualitative tool for collecting richer in-the-moment insights. Key features include the ability for users to feedback using video, photo, audio, and text; geolocation; geo-fencing; and geo-triggering. Offline accessibility is also available for places where there is no data connection.

The platform can be used in combination with other qualitative research tools, such as in-depth interviews, insight communities, and focus groups. Additionally, they offer tools such as video editing, translation, and transcription, alongside ‘how-to’ guides for a variety of qual tools. ThoughtLight® works with both iOS and Android and is a useful tool for shopper insights, audio diaries and patient journeys.

Rival Technologies

Rival Technologies offers a Conversational Research Platform for researchers looking to conduct mobile ethnography. The tool allows researchers to capture authentic in-the-moment insights that reflect participants’ feelings and emotions. Rival’s platform focuses on mobile-first design. Researchers can engage with their audience in the same way they communicate today, leveraging native mobile capabilities like text, chat, and video. This mobile-centric approach ensures that participants can conveniently share their experiences and opinions.

Rival combines AI capabilities with a conversational research approach, harnessing the power of mobile and messaging technologies to drive higher engagement rates and speed up the insights process. The platform offers applications such as copy refinement, tone suggestions, and insight summaries, all powered by AI.

Sago QualMobile

QualBoard® is an enterprise insights platform offered by Sago that offers mobile ethnography solutions.  Designed specifically for the smartphone, the platform provides a streamlined respondent experience and provides flexibility to ask the right question of the right participant at the right time.

QualBoard® supports various event types, including bulletin board discussions, repetitive diaries, real-time video chats, quick polls, and live crowd surveys. This flexibility allows researchers to tailor their projects according to their qualitative research objectives.

The tool also offers features such as breakout rooms, collaborative pods for focused discussions, QualLaborate for concept evaluation, and QualLink for seamless transition from surveys to online discussions.


incling offers a platform and digital solutions for mobile ethnography called Digital Diaries, where real-time experiences are observed and brought to life through photos and videos. Researchers can record consumer experiences over a period of time in an ethnographic way including tracking attitudes & behaviours and observing usage & consumption.

The platform also allows consumers to upload rich media and creates picture galleries and video clip reels to visually support insights. Once insights are gathered, incling’s built-in analysis has the ability to star and highlight comments, add tags and share notes. These are collated in an analysis dashboard where researchers can filter and sort data before easily exporting.

Forsta Digital Diaries & Communities

Forsta Digital Diaries & Communities is Forsta’s solution for mobile ethnography. Researchers can get respondents’ input during key moments in their journey with activity-based diary entries in-the-moment. Participants can upload rich media (video, audio, text, images) from their smartphones, tablets and computers.

The tool lets researchers have respondents review website drafts, rate product packaging and respond to text stimuli, test campaign ideas, and prototype packaging.


The Discuss People Experience Platform allows researchers to conduct in-depth qualitative studies at scale, including online ethnographic research or longitudinal studies. The tool’s video-first approach also features an AI assistant (Genie) delivering project-level composite summaries, themes, and instant session summaries.

The platform is also able to centralise video footage, generate auto-generated clips and in-depth insights with sentiment analysis, tagging, and theme finder. Researchers can upload any MP4, whether a Zoom, MS Teams, Go-To-Meeting, or other video recordings.


Recollective’s mobile ethnography platform offers researchers a comprehensive way to connect with respondents and understand their behavior through various asynchronous activities and tasks. The platform provides features to capture ongoing routines and behaviours in detail by allowing respondents to document their experiences through journals on mobile or desktop devices.

The tool lets researchers gain insights into the daily lives, attitudes, values, perceptions, and behaviours of their key audience. The platform also supports ideation and co-creation activities, fostering creativity and collaboration with target audiences to develop new ideas or enhance existing ones. In addition, researchers can use Recollective for in-the-moment research, sending participants on mobile missions or in-store experiences to capture real-time reactions and decisions.


Qualzy is a comprehensive qualitative research platform to conduct in-depth studies on participant behaviours and experiences. The tools allows researchers to run long-term insight communities, incorporating features like custom home pages, panel management, custom profiles, and online rewards to maximize participant engagement.

The platform supports projects in over 25 different languages and provides specialized tools for video studies, including collection, analysis, transcription, translation, and editing into showreels to enhance research results. Researchers can choose between over 15 different activity types ranging from social posts, video uploads, survey forms, heatmaps, etc.

CMNTY by MarketResponse

CMNTY by MarketResponse offers researchers a platform for conducting digital ethnography studies providing a comprehensive set of tools to prepare, conduct, analyze, and present qualitative studies efficiently. The platform caters to various research needs, whether for asynchronous qualitative studies, continuous communities using discussion boards, diary studies, co-creation challenges, mood boards, or live video solutions for online focus groups and IDIs.

Researchers can enhance participant engagement through activities that require active participation. CMNTY Platform covers all aspects of the process and combines recruitment, data collection, participant engagement, and data analysis in one convenient location, allowing researchers to mix and match features to tailor their approach for each project.

CMNTY Platform

With our CMNTY Platform, you have an all-in-one solution for online qualitative research, with unrivaled possibilities and functionality for recruiting participants; data collection, enrichment and analysis; the development and maintenance of focus groups; and the presentation of the results to your client. RESEARCH METHODS With the CMNTY Platform, you can…


QualSights is a platform for remote video observation, interviews and focus groups offering a broad range of flexible features. It can capture video or images from any camera (smartphones, computers, wearables, video kiosks, and more). It uses machine learning to transcribe audio; generate keywords and topics; apply sentiment and emotion analysis; and recognise objects and scenes in videos.

The platform allows researchers to interact with consumers remotely while they are in-home, in-store or anywhere in between. This gathers in-the-moment feedback and witnesses their actions through video without influencing behaviour. Researchers can recruit targeted consumers from all over the world, supporting over 100 languages.

Data is analysed almost instantly with automated, AI-powered reports and analysis dashboards. The software also features a drag-and-drop video editor to create clips and showreels. The platform can be used to enhance face-to-face projects and to enable customers or field staff to broadcast live.


dscout is a research tool offering mobile ethnography solutions whereby users take part in “missions” to capture their everyday experiences using video or images. Participants can be found from dscout’s pool of ‘scouts’ in North America and the UK, meaning that recruitment can take a matter of hours.

For analysis, the dscout platform allows results to be reviewed, tagged, transcribed, and analysed in an online portal. Quantitative frequency charts can be used to support findings. The platform also features a machine learning-based “expressiveness” tool and allows you to compile highlight reels. They also offer Slack integration, public/private share links, or direct exports to make the findings shareable with stakeholders, clients, and colleagues.


Dynata, as part of its Dynata Insight Platform, offers an innovative digital ethnography solution for capturing in-the-moment consumer opinions. The tool provides access to over 62 million profiled consumers and has DIY tools.

Dynata’s global QuickThoughts mobile panel of people are specifically recruited for mobile research and include various segments like

  • Young, higher income people
  • Global digital citizens
  • People on-the-go
  • Diverse consumers including ethnicities – e.g., Hispanics


Dynata is a research tech and data platform with proprietary software and a panel of over 67 million consumers and business professionals.

For more even more solutions, search for Mobile Ethnography in the directory,


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