Psychtoolbox now offers priority support, community membership and more!

Have you got some leftover funds in your lab’s budget and wonder how
to spend them before Christmas? Wonder no longer, we can help!

As many of you know, for over 15 years Psychtoolbox for Matlab and the
free GNU/Octave has been primarily developed by Mario Kleiner, with
almost no support for his efforts. Over this time, not only
Psychtoolbox’s popularity and functionality, but also the required
workload, has greatly increased, requiring his full time commitment.

Given the urgency of this issue, some years ago an event was held at
VSS to discuss how to improve the sustainability of Psychtoolbox,
focusing especially on the financial situation. Additionally a user
survey was conducted during the years 2016 to 2018, asking labs about
their willingness to financially support Psychtoolbox development. Out
of 1270 responses of individual labs, 417 labs (~33% of all responses)
stated they would certainly contribute financially if invoices could
be provided [1]. That was very encouraging and we have now made this
possible!

Since 2018, Psychtoolbox and Mario Kleiner have found a new home in
Medical Innovations Incubator GmbH, which supports early-stage
companies in the area of life sciences with know-how and methods.
Since then, Mario and the incubator have together developed a concept
for commercial support and services which will allow Mario to continue
Psychtoolbox development.

Here we would like to introduce the outcome of this work with our
companion website, https://www.psychtoolbox.net , detailing the
options available for labs, companies and individuals to support the
Psychtoolbox project.

In particular, we want to point labs to the ability to purchase a
yearly membership for paid priority support. At a modest price of 150
Euros per year (+ VAT), this provides labs with fast expert advice and
help for questions and problems related to Psychtoolbox and its
surrounding ecosystem, in addition to supporting the future
maintenance and development of Psychtoolbox and the software it
depends upon.
E.g., Mario also improves the open-source Linux operating system to
make it even more suitable for experiments requiring high precision,
performance, flexibility and robustness. He also develops workarounds
for bugs in proprietary operating systems like Apple macOS and
MS-Windows. All of this work additionally benefits other neuroscience
toolkits, especially ones which use parts of Psychtoolbox as their
underpinning, e.g., PsychoPy.

Additional options include contracting us for development and
improvement of specific Psychtoolbox or Linux features which are vital
for your experimental needs [2]. We also offer product integration
partnerships for companies which manufacture and sell neuroscience
products.

Lastly, for a small fee, individuals can become community members -
essentially a small donation. You can also buy Psychtoolbox swag (from
t-shirts, hoodies and mugs all the way to teddy bears) in the swag
shop, where a fraction of the proceeds will go to support
Psychtoolbox.

We hope that through https://www.psychtoolbox.net labs, companies and
users can find the right support or partner program fitting to their
individual needs, and can find a way to contribute to Psychtoolbox
development and maintenance. As is the case with many open source
projects, we depend on your support to keep the project viable and
moving forward. We hope that we are now able to offer you viable and
mutually beneficial ways of financially contributing to the project.

Please also contact us at https://www.psychtoolbox.net if you would
like to discuss other options, or if you run into any problems with
the purchase process.

As a recent example of the exciting new features added to
Psychtoolbox, including High Dynamic Range support, that keep
Psychtoolbox as the foremost option for demanding neuroscience and
beyond, click this link to see what is new in the recent Psychtoolbox
3.0.17 release:

Your continued support will allow continuous progress, as well as
maintenance, to ensure your code keeps working on old and new hardware
and operating systems, and for exciting new paradigms to become
possible over the years to come.

Rest assured: Psychtoolbox itself will remain open source software and
will continue to be available for free.

Thank you for your time and support,
The Psychtoolbox team

[1] Another 635 labs (~50%) responded that their support would depend
on the specific payment or business model behind Psychtoolbox. If you
are one of these labs and none of our current options are suitable for
you, please get in touch with us at https://www.psychtoolbox.net

[2] A few examples of our happy contract work customers so far are
PsychoPy for substantially improved audio, timing and response
collection functionality; Denis Pelli for fixing severe issues with
Apple macOS for visual stimulus timing and response collection; and
the VESA industry consortium for High Dynamic Range display support
(see https://vesa.org/featured-articles/vesa-funds-development-of-new-video-compression-test-tool-for-high-dynamic-range-displays/
for their press release).

2 Likes