Enhanced Audience Analytics & Audience Engagement
There are a plethora of live audience engagement tools such as voting clickers (keypads), Ipads with customised apps, Catchbox (throwable microphones) to name a few. But whilst observing a recent event, I was struck by the fact that presenters insist on ignoring these tools and using the good old “show of hands” when asking an opinion.
I thought: what if we can give presenters specific audience metrics without using any voting technology?
Introducing “Audience Analytics” using face recognition technology:
One of the most powerful abilities we possess is face detection. Deep in the back of our brain is a gyrus, the area that is responsible for general recognition and recall. Located in this gyrus is the Fusiform Face Area (FFA), which specifically takes care of facial recognition. Within milliseconds, our FFAs can perceive gender, age, emotion, and look up any memories related to the face’s owner. It is just as fast at detecting familiar faces in a crowd. Look back at yearbooks and class photos, and you’ll be locating yourself almost immediately. Merely glancing at the faces around you will bring back old memories. We barely have to think about it.
The Art of Presentation Production
As presentation production becomes as much a science as an art, us producers need ever-better ways to gauge audience reactions. Did they enjoy it? How much… exactly? At slide number 42? Our new system uses a facial expression tracking neural network to learn and predict how members of the audience react, perhaps setting the stage for a change in direction with contextual based presenting?
What’s more the system can be used to determine demographic information on anonymous individuals within its field of vision, such as their age or sex, as well as determining where they are directing their gaze, and for how long.
Imagine presenting a subject and observing that a certain demographic was not enjoying it – you could therefore change your tact live!
Sure, there are valid concerns about intrusion and privacy regulations, but if event managers follow the rules (such as full disclosure, opt-in, and highlighting that there is no biometric data storage), the results will be a transparent system that only succeeds if it provides value to the individuals concerned.
Leading Edge of a Tectonic Change in Presentation
It seems we could be on the leading edge of a tectonic change within the presentation world. Presenters will love the resultant insights, AV providers will love the need for brighter rooms and Audiences will, at last, be able to banish death-by-PowerPoint with a frown.
Author: John Quinn