Conference-goers know that at any given meeting, they will be subjected to a range of presentations – some interesting, others, well, not so interesting. Conference organizers don’t like to offer a podium to inept or boring presenters, of course – bad performances will drive away the paying customers. The approach conference organizers usually employ is to poll the audience about each presentation, asking about the content, the quality of the presentation, and so on. This is done after the fact, but at least low-scoring presenters can be crossed off the list for the next conference. Of course, this constant polling (often by paper questionnaires) is tedious and annoying for the conference attendees.
In a departure from old-fashioned paper, the Association of National Advertisers and Innerscope Research conducted an experiment at their recent Creativity Conference. Some audience members were wired up to capture biometric readings – changes in heart rate, breathing, skin sweat, and motion. These measures were captured from a lightweight band around the wearer’s lower rib cage, so the monitored individuals didn’t stand out in the crowd and likely forgot they were being monitored. […]