Thursday, 5 August 2010

Digital signage monitoring

We currently have 24 live digital signage screens across our five campuses at the University and they are a very valuable resources for us to push information out to all students very quickly. However, with another 12 coming online within the next few months what we don't know is, does anyone actually ever look at them?

So, we have now invested in some digital signage monitoring software that will allow us to measure if people are looking at the screens and for how long. A quick glance or a longer stare! The software works by using facial recognition to judge when a person is looking directly at the screen and tracks how long they look for. It also includes metrics on the gender of the person which is worked out with some clever judgement on face shape, hair style, height, etc and proves to be around 90% acurate.

In order to have the software running it needs to be installed on a small stand alone PC such as an EeePC and requires a webcam to be attached to the top of the screen you want to monitor. This then sends the information it gathers back to a hosted server that then displays the results via a dashboard display.

We looked at a couple of different solutions, Quividi, Wututu and CognoVision appeared to be the three leading companies and we eventually chose Wututu as our preferred supplier. As they all do very similar things it did become a costing exercise and Wututu was significantly cheaper!

It'll be an easy installation for us and when we start to receive some stats i'll make sure I post up the initial findings!

A video of how the software tracking looks can be seen below.