Now it’s the new university year I’m beginning to get requests on social media to fill in surveys for people’s university research projects. I don’t mind filling in a survey if it’s about something I’m interested in and I have some time to kill. So when I saw this article on the New Scientist page about the use of large LCD touch-screens placed on busy streets for gathering data, I thought it was a great idea! People can kill time by interacting with the screens and giving useful data. Online I’m not going to search for surveys to fill in, but if I was waiting on a bus stop I probably would.
The main use that interested me is the possibility of using the screens to gather words and people’s emotions about the location. These could then be used to select relevant content for the screens. This article reminds me of a link I posted about a few weeks ago about the use of tweets to map emotions in New York. We can then properly connect a place with people’s information. While online crowdsourcing can gather keywords about a general area, I think that the use of the screens actually on that location might give more precise keywords and allow us to gather words about how people see the area then, rather than how they remember it.
I was recently on a train with interactive screens that had breaking news stories across the top. One of these news stories was about a huge train crash. Not really something I want to be reminded of when I’m on a train! Because it’s so important to match content to the environment it’s being displayed, I think these touch-screens could be fantastic in giving more precise information about the place and the people who frequent it.