Moviegoer Breaths Analyzed For Biometric Signals

   May 28, 2016—Scientists in Germany say that they can tell what kind of scenes movie audiences are watching based on the chemical profile of their exhaled breath. Such findings can have practical uses to the movie business and represent one aspect of biometrics—monitoring human biological activity, which is addressed in the third edition of Marketing To Moviegoers.
  Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and Johannes Gutenberg University say that the chemical composition of exhaled breath varies and sudden appearance of specific chemical compounds will correspond to types of movie scenes watched.
   “The findings about moviegoers’ breath could have a variety of applications,” says a Wall Street Journal article. “Market researchers, foImage result for free clip art and microscoper instance, could determine what people were feeling about a movie without asking them, thereby avoiding misreporting. Marketers also could see if product placements were working as hoped…(For example,) ethanol emissions spiked when a character
 in the Walter Mitty movie ordered a beer. German viewers, who can buy beer in theaters, apparently chose that moment to take a swig.”
   The explanation for the science is that cinema scenes trigger emotions in moviegoers, which in some cases might even harken back to calling up primeval instincts. Since these are real bodily reactions, the findings are valuable.
   Says the third edition of Marketing To Moviegoers: “Many types of biometric responses can be evaluated in film research. These include measuring eye movement, pupil dilation, brainwaves, and facial reactions. For these, moviegoers wear special headgear that measures response as moviegoers view content in small and private film screenings. The other measures can be skin conductance and heart rhythms. For these, respondents wear special medical belts around their waists and possibly other gear, again in private screenings. Hollywood’s mainstream research companies typically hire third-party outfits that conduct this research as a specialty.”
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