Research has shown that physiological sensors provide a valuable mechanism for quantifying the experience of audiences attending cultural events. In the strength of the applause or questionnaires, bio-sensors provide fine-grained timed data that can be used to infer the quality of the experience of the audience members. Unfortunately, available commercial sensors are designed for lab or home usage and studies, focusing on the individual instead of the reactions of a crowd of people. In this study, we present our own designed physiological measurement system that overcomes the challenges of using and deploying sensors in a theatrical environment (anonymity and privacy, real-time gathering of data, support for large crowds of 30-100 people), and the wearable system has two unique features that distinguished between adult audience members and children ones. We report our experimental results which particularly answered the research questions proposed by the producer, director, and the artists.

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Keywords Audience response, GSR sensors, Physiological computing, Physiological sensor network, Theatre performance
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Conference ACM Creativity and Cognition
Wang, C, & César Garcia, P.S. (2017). The play is a hit -but how can you tell? measuring audience bio-responses towards a performance. In C and C 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity and Cognition (pp. 336–347). doi:10.1145/3059454.3059465