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Taking the Pulse of a Meeting—Literally

New wearable technology can track the highlights of an attendee’s journey.

Some people may have a poker face, but the human body has multiple “tells” that give away a person’s emotional responses. The Connected Bracelet, from French tech company Datakalab, is a wearable device that is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled and measures physiological changes including sweating, extra-dermal temperature, and heart-rate variations. According to Anne-Marie Gaultier, Datakalab’s president and CEO, research shows that “90 percent of emotional impacts are embedded in the unconscious; we are only conscious of 10 percent of our emotional responses.” Our bodies, on the other hand, betray emotions with physical changes that the bracelets can record.

Worn like a Fitbit, the Connected Bracelet tracks the wearer’s emotional state. U.S.-based CWT Meetings & Events is testing out the bracelets to find highlights of the attendee journey. By combining the data from multiple wearers it is possible to map where the emotional peaks take place; for example, the trade show booths that generate the most excitement. That information can then be used to offer data-driven insights to exhibitors and improve the attendee experience.  

Participants must opt-in to wear the bracelets but they can remain anonymous. However, it is possible to record a wearer’s demographics such as gender, age, and area of interest in order to slice the data to see which booths were more popular with certain groups. Heat maps might tell you that a beverage stand with barista artists providing coffee portraits had long queues at your event—but a biometric bracelet will tell you who stood in line.  

Current Limitations, and Promise

Right now, Connected Bracelets record only emotional peaks—Gaultier says they could be positive or negative—but the wearer’s location will provide clues to the cause. Apparently, attendees are not shy about providing data to help improve their experience; during the CWT events, nearly 99 percent of the attendees who were offered the bracelets chose to wear them.

For more insights on biometric meeting technology, see Reading the Room and Straight Out of Sci-Fi.

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