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Biosensors go to the movies (pictures)

An audience of 2,300 electronically shares emotional reactions to a provocative series of videos an ad agency screens in Cannes. Here's what they saw at the "Feel the Reel" event.

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Stephen Shankland
​A nurse-attired actor shows off the emotion sensor.
1 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Nurse demo

At the 2014 New Directors' Showcase at the Cannes Lions conference on Thursday, ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi combined audience emotion measurements with its top picks of new short films. Here, a nurse-attired actor shows off the emotion sensor each audience member wore.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

Graphics show individuals' reaction to films at the New Directors' Showcase at the Cannes Lions conference.
2 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Emotion on display

Graphics showed individuals' reaction to films at the New Directors' Showcase at the Cannes Lions conference. At the lower corners are two individuals whose emotions were shown by the color of the tile on which their chairs were perched.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

Studio XO's wrist-mounted emtion sensors glow green when a person's emotions go beyond calm.
3 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Green glowing sensor

Studio XO's wrist-mounted emoion sensors glow green when a person's emotions go beyond calm.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

​Elektropastete and Marshmallow Laser Feast developed technology to show dynamically how audience members responded emotionally to the New Director Showreel film clips.
4 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Emotion visualization

Elektropastete and Marshmallow Laser Feast developed technology to show dynamically how audience members responded emotionally to the New Director Showreel film clips.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

The 24th Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase was titled "Feel the Reel."
5 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Feel the Reel

The 24th Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase was titled "Feel the Reel." The event spotlighted the work of new talent in film, video, and art installations.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

The audience prepares for Saatchi & Saatchi's New Directors' Showcase at Cannes Lions.
6 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Audience awaits New Directors' Showcase

The audience prepares for Saatchi & Saatchi's New Directors' Showcase at Cannes Lions.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

​  In the control room behind the scenes, technicals from Studio XO, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Elektropastete, and Prettybird oversaw the New Directors' Showcase with a bank of computers.
7 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Behind the scenes

In the control room behind the scenes, technicals from Studio XO, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Elektropastete, and Prettybird oversaw the New Directors' Showcase with a bank of computers.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

​The New Directors' Showcase featured dazzlingly bright lights to startle audience members, part of the emotion sensor calibration process.
8 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Flashing lights

The New Directors' Showcase featured dazzlingly bright lights to startle audience members, part of the emotion sensor calibration process.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

An actor rehearses her role before the New Directors' Showcase began.
9 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Waiting for the show

An actor rehearses her role before the New Directors' Showcase begins.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

A 3D plot shows the entire audience's reactions to the films, with spikes corresponding to emotional intensity.
10 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Emotions, quantified

A 3D plot shows the entire audience's reactions to the films, with spikes corresponding to emotional intensity.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

​The Saatchi & Saatchi event featured a clinical theme in which nurse-costumed actors demonstrated use of the emotion sensors.
11 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Emotion sensor instruction

The Saatchi & Saatchi event featured a clinical theme in which nurse-costumed actors demonstrated use of the emotion sensors.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

Actors dressed as nurses dramatized the use of Studio XO's emotion sensors.
12 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Colored emotions

Actors dressed as nurses dramatized the use of Studio XO's emotion sensors.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

​Studio XO's sensors came in packaging reminiscent of what's used for syringes and bandages.
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Studio XO packaging

Studio XO's sensors came in packaging reminiscent of what's used for syringes and bandages.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

The emotion sensor, made by Studio XO and sold to ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi, has detectors that press against the skin on the inside of the wrist.
14 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Studio XO emotion sensor

The emotion sensor, made by Studio XO and sold to ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi, has detectors that press against the skin on the inside of the wrist.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

Studio XO's technology logs emotional intensity from calm to aroused, but doensn't distinguish between, say, ecstatic and angry.
15 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Emotion spectrum

Studio XO's technology logs emotional intensity from calm to aroused, but doesn't distinguish between, say, ecstatic and angry.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

Graphics show individuals' reaction to films at the New Directors' Showcase at the Cannes Lions conference.
16 of 16 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Emotion on display

Graphics show individuals' reaction to films at the New Directors' Showcase at the Cannes Lions conference.

See related article: Scary or cool? Directors can track how that film makes you feel

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