Connected Nation - Pitch: Broadcasting Thrill - Brendan Walker, University of Nottingham

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Are you ready to be thrilled? The Horizon Digital Economy Research Hub works with Thrill Laboratory to investigate how biosensing technologies can be used to enhance thrilling experiences across the creative industries. This project focuses on the use of wearable and networked sensors to develop unique live entertainment for TV, advertising, and public engagement.

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Brendan Walker, University of Nottingham

I’m attaching onto my fingers, two electrodes to monitor electrical conductance. Now electrical conductance will increase with my sweat levels, and my sweat levels will increase if I become physiologically aroused, for example, by blowing up a balloon, or by becoming psychologically stressed. Let me just switch this on… (High pitched noise.) BANG! (Balloon bursts) (Noise remains at the same pitch) It should go up! (Audience laughs)

So what’s happened here? You have been the witness of a factual science exposition which, as a science curious audience, you may have come to watch this show for. But actually something more important has just happened. The emotional experience of one person, me, has just been broadcast to entertain you, as an audience.

But how can we capture and capitalise, and possibly even scale up this experience? Well in Broadcasting Thrills, Horizon Digital Economy has been working with Thrill Laboratory to explore some possibilities. We have been collaborating with broadcasters and even producers to explore new potential possibilities for creative format, and also looking at the underlying technologies and processes needed to support these different formats.

So, for example, the sensors; we could create new digital sensors to increase fidelity, capture more data. We can use more complex computational analysis to gather more meaning from this data. We could replace the speaker, with the internet, and now we are able to reach an audience of millions internationally. And that balloon, well, replace that with sports, motor car racing, thrill rides, game shows… We’ve got a whole raft of creative opportunities for the creative industries. Thank you.