What smart things would those be, exactly? Here, we look at five projects that have combined sensors and data to produce actionable insights. Some of the insights are life-saving. Some are entertainment-enhancing. Some of them seem downright creepy. But make no mistake: they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
Real ‘edge of the seat’ momentsThroughout history, artistic movie endings have been choked to death by test audiences. There were no happy endings in the working print of Blade Runner, 28 Days Later, or Pretty Woman, but that all changed thanks to the opinion of some carefully-chosen folks in a dark room. Now, studios are using sensors and real time wireless feedback to tie those opinions to real data.
The Revenant was screened to test audiences wearing sensors that measured heart rate, skin moisture, electromagnetic variations in the skin, and movement. It even listened for gasps of shock.
20th Century Fox analysed the data from the sensors, detecting 14 moments when their heart rate collectively went off the charts, that it then used to check if the editing was on target. The benefit of wearable sensors is that they’re less prone to muddying. Audiences often influence each others’ impression of the movie by chatting about it before they fill in surveys, as it turns out. They also don’t take the audience out of the movie, in the same way that turning a dial during the movie does.
The data is gathered by bioanalytics firm Lightwave, which used it to infer emotions at various points in the film. The data was beamed wirelessly back to a central collection point in real time, so that movie execs could tell what was happening. The sensors also found 15 fight-or-flight response moments, apparently, which had nothing to do with people fighting over the popcorn.
Park your privacy over hereWearable IoT sensors in entertainment settings seems to be a thing. Disney is starting to use the systems, too, linked to big data analysis at the back end to crunch the numbers on its wandering revenue maximization opportunities happy customers.
Take the family to Walt Disney World and you’ll all be given the chance to wear voluntary MagicBands. These surveillance units personal fun devices give you special privileges such as pre-booking rides, jumping queues, and having adult men dressed as animals call your children by their first names without being introduced.
While providing the family with a fun an exciting experience, the bugband also feeds back your every move to the Mouse. It functions as a room key, credit card, park ticket and FastPass access card in one, which creates an awful lot of data. By looking at where people are going, the firm can at the very least analyze in-park traffic flow, and understand which demographics are attracted to which activities and products. What rides did you queue longest for? Did you buy candyfloss today? Why not, little Johnny? Goofy’s watching! Hyuk hyuk, hyuk.
The bands are opt-in at the moment, and so is the data feedback, so you don’t have to show up on Disney’s radar. Citizens refusing to wear the band will not be reassigned to a mandatory re-education session in a small, dark room behind the Astro Orbiter, we are assured.