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 . 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 . 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: https://psychtoolbox.discourse.group/t/psychtoolbox-3-0-17-beta-update-dynamically-high-released/3489
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
 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
 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).