Home Science CommunicationCommunity & events Interactive name badges at SpotOn London 2013

Interactive name badges at SpotOn London 2013

by Eva Amsen

This year at SpotOn London, we had interactive name badges. If you tapped someone else’s badge with yours, you exchanged name, Twitter handle, and email address. That’s useful if you want to keep track of who you met, but mostly it’s also very, very fun.

According to the data I got from Blendology, the company behind the tappy badges, I tapped my badge a total of 133 times, exchanging information with 71 different badges. 58 of these were unique individuals at the conference, the rest were locations or pretapped Blendology staff.

The Blendology system also keeps tracks of the time you tapped other people’s badges (or tapped in and out of rooms or info booths). Unfortunately the full timeline is only visible online and not in the downloadable file, and there seemed to be a mistake in my times for day one, which were all off by three hours, but after adjusting the times* and manually copying some repeat-taps from the online visualisation to Excel, I got all the correct tap times in a spreadsheet, and the result is this:


Blue is breaks during the conference, orange is a session in progress, green is chatting in the pub, purple is Science Showoff in progress, and grey is the time in between the two conference days.

*I knew that I tapped the auditorium sign every time I walked into the main room, which helped me find the correct times for everything else.



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1 comment

Clifford Dive November 24, 2013 - 11:41 PM

Lovely analysis – shows beautifully what can be done with the data. We would love to provide this level of analysis at the level of individual delegates, in addition to the breakdown that we can provide for the whole-event connectivity for the event organiser. Ultimately it comes down to who pays – you have put a bunch of special knowledge into your analysis. A lot of organisers don’t (yet) want to pay enough to make it viable for Blendology to do this work for every individual event.

Your problems with the clock are a known gotcha for us for certain events – when the device is switched off, the clock stops. It will be resolved in hardware when we next revise the product, and we are looking at an automatic way of getting the server to calculate the corrections you made.

So much to do, so little time to do it.

We really appreciate your interest and your constructive input.

VP Business Development

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