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One Day, Your Conference Badge Will Do the Networking for You

Here's a sentence that resonates: At conferences, "while some people trade business cards with aplomb, others clump with coworkers, rarely venturing beyond the safety of their pre-existing social circle." So begins an article in MIT's Technology Review about scientists studying social interactions at conferences and networking events by giving attendees badges with built-in infrared sensors, radios, and microphones.

The tricked-out badges help gather data about face-to-face interactions, proximity to other badges, attendee movements, and speech patterns, the article says. "The data from the infrared sensors was wirelessly transmitted to a computer that crunched the numbers, producing a real-time visualization of the event's social graph."

GTO predicts that eventually, they'll design badges that alert you when someone worth meeting is in range -- or better yet, swap information wirelessly with the other person's badge so you can go home with a whole new set of contacts that you never had to meet.

 

The Scan

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