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Thomas Romanoff, demonstrating the use of biometric sensors to measure emotional responses to visual stimulus.

AFTRS has partnered with industry to bring biometric audience engagement technology and research methods to the Australian screen and broadcast production sector. NBC, Netflix and AMC/Sundance currently use this approach and it has had a direct effect on the global success of television series such as The Bridge, The Killing and Borgen. The technology enables empirical testing of audience engagement by measuring psych-emotional responses, including Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), Eye-Tracking and Facial Emotion Coding against textual analysis of scripts and qualitative audience feedback in real time. The testing allows researchers to see patterns in audience responses and to identify specific components in content that create impact such as storylines, characters and scenes.

As part of the project, AFTRS has established a Biometrics Lab on-campus where project collaborators are conducting a series of pilot studies to test this methodology in new ways across screen and broadcast processes. The pilot studies include the exploration of biometrics for talent casting, pitching techniques, and for audience engagement of immersive sound. It enables risk-taking, iterative approaches to content development where script and audio versions can be assessed in early and mid-production. The Project’s research findings will be embedded in teaching and training at AFTRS and shared with industry for the development of new business models and improved screen production outcomes.