What do you find is the most effective and accurate way of measuring dwell time?”
Dwell time can be defined in a number of different ways depending upon the context, perspective and commercial agenda. In the context of digital signage in a retail environment, ‘dwell time’ is typically defined as the amount of time a potential, or actual, viewer (audience) of messaging content on a digital sign spends in the viewing area of that particular sign. There are a number of methodologies and technologies used today to measure ‘dwell time.’ These range from someone physically watching video (typically security camera footage or recorded video) and tabulating what they perceive and/or determine to be someone who is looking or standing near a digital sign and timing their behavior. This is a costly and inaccurate technique but is surprisingly used often. Technology-based measurements include eye, facial and body tracking algorithms integrated into video analytics, Wi-Fi analytics, beacons and pressure sensors. All of these techniques have their advantages and disadvantages including efficacy and accuracy. I’ve found that the most effective and accurate method(s) to measure dwell time are unique and directly related to each particular situation. In most cases, the client ‘committee’ (legal, IT, timelines, operations, etc.) dictate the terms of engagement that in turn dictates which technologies and/or methodology is best suited.