Identifying and Facilitating Social Interaction with a Wearable Wireless Sensor Network

Joseph A. Paradiso, Jonathan Gips, Mathew Laibowitz, Sajid Sadi, David Merrill, Ryan Aylward, Pattie Maes, Alex Pentland


We have designed a highly versatile badge system to facilitate a variety of interaction at large professional or social events and serve as a platform for conducting research into human dynamics. The badges are equipped with a large LED display, wireless infrared and radio frequency networking, and a host of sensors to collect data that we have used to develop features and algorithms aimed at classifying and predicting individual and group behavior. This paper overviews our badge system, describes the interactions and capabilities that it enabled for the wearers, and presents data collected over several large deployments. This data is analyzed to track and socially classify the attendees, predict their interest in other people and demonstration installations, profile the restlessness of a crowd in an auditorium, and otherwise track the evolution and dynamics of the events at which the badges were run

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