Nielsen Smartphone Meter Determines if Viewer is Cooking, Dancing, Sleeping

Nielsen is looking at turning smartphones owned by sample members into portable people meters capable of detailing how engaged viewers are with a program, according to a U.S. patent published on Tuesday.

Relying on sensors contained in mobile devices, a “PPM Smartphone” could easily determine if a Nielsen family member is complying with rules aimed at helping the ratings provider track every second of media consumption.

“Information about an audience member’s behavior may be determined/estimated using location information, motion information, and/or movement information … Body movements may include shifting or fidgeting while a person sits on a couch and passively consumes media. Body movements may also include, for example, dance movements, exercise movements, and/or any other body movements of a person, at least some of which may be the result of the person actively participating in activities (e.g., exercising, cooking, etc.) associated with the media program. all media consumption,” Nielsen states in the patent.

Principal researcher Morris Lee is named as lead inventor on the patent, titled, “Methods and apparatus for using audience member behavior information to determine compliance with audience measurement system usage requirements.”

Abstract: Example methods, apparatus, and articles of manufacture determine compliance with usage guidelines of an audience measurement system. Initially, location information associated with an audience member is obtained. It is then determined whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on the location information. Media monitoring information corresponding to the location information is then tagged as non-compliant if the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines.

Patent

Claims: 

1. An apparatus to determine compliance with usage guidelines of an audience measurement system, comprising: a location sensor to obtain first location information associated with an audience member; and a processor, communicatively coupled to the location sensor, to: determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on a time difference between a first timestamp corresponding to the first location information and a second timestamp corresponding to a time at which a change in location of the audience member was previously detected; and tag media monitoring information corresponding to the first location information as non-compliant in response to determining that the time difference between the first and second timestamps is not less than a threshold.

2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the location sensor is further to obtain second location information associated with the audience member, and wherein the processor is to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on whether the first location information is different from the second location information.

3. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the processor is further to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on a second time difference between the first timestamp and a third timestamp associated with second location information.

4. An apparatus as defined in claim 3, wherein the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines if the second time difference is not less than a second threshold and a difference between the first and second location information is not greater than a third threshold.

5. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the processor is further to generate a non-compliance message to be sent to the audience member if the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines.

6. An apparatus as defined in claim 5, further including a visual interface to display the non-compliance message via a portable meter.

7. An apparatus as defined in claim 5, further including a communication interface to forward the non-compliance message to a central facility for subsequent communication to the audience member.

8. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the processor is further to configure a portable meter to operate in a low power consumption mode if the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines.

9. An apparatus as defined in claim 8, wherein the processor is further to configure the portable meter to exit the low power consumption mode based on at least one of a location change event, a motion event, or a timer event.

10. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the location information includes location coordinates.

11. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the media monitoring information is information indicative of at least one of a video presentation or an audio presentation.

12. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the processor is further to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on whether the audience member is at least one of carrying or wearing a portable meter of the audience measurement system in compliance with the usage guidelines.

13. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc comprising instructions that, when executed, cause a machine to at least: obtain first location information associated with an audience member; determine whether the audience member is in compliance with usage guidelines based on a time difference between a first timestamp corresponding to the first location information and a second timestamp corresponding to a time at which a change in location of the audience member was previously detected; and tag media monitoring information corresponding to the first location information as non-compliant in response to determining that the time difference between the first and second timestamps is not less than a threshold.

14. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 13, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines by: obtaining second location information associated with the audience member; and determining whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on whether the first location information is different from the second location information.

15. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 13, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on a second time difference between the first timestamp and a third timestamp associated with second location information.

16. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 15, wherein the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines if the second time difference is not less than a second threshold and a difference between the first and second location information is not greater than a third threshold.

17. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 13, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to generate a non-compliance message to be sent to the audience member if the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines.

18. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 17, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to display the non-compliance message via a portable meter.

19. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 17, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to forward the non-compliance message to a central facility for subsequent communication to the audience member.

20. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 13, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to configure a portable meter to operate in a low power consumption mode if the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines.

21. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 20, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to configure the portable meter to exit the low power consumption mode based on at least one of a location change event, a motion event, or a timer event.

22. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 13, wherein the location information includes location coordinates.

23. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 13, wherein the media monitoring information is information indicative of at least one of a video presentation or an audio presentation.

24. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 13, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on whether the audience member is at least one of carrying or wearing a portable meter of the audience measurement system in compliance with the usage guidelines.

25. An apparatus to determine compliance with usage guidelines of an audience measurement system, comprising: a processor; and a memory in communication with the processor and including instructions to cause the processor to: determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on a time difference between a first timestamp associated with a first acoustic event and a second timestamp associated with a second acoustic event; tag media monitoring information as non-compliant in response to determining that the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines; and generate a non-compliance message to be communicated to the audience member in response to determining that the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines.

26. An apparatus as defined in claim 25, wherein the instructions further cause the processor to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines by comparing the time difference to a non-compliance time threshold.

27. An apparatus as defined in claim 26, wherein the instructions further cause the processor to determine that the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines if the time difference is not less than the non-compliance time threshold.

28. An apparatus as defined in claim 25, wherein the first acoustic event is indicative of an acoustic emission detected via an audio detector.

29. An apparatus as defined in claim 28, wherein the acoustic emission is at least one of a scraping sound, a tapping sound, or a wind sound.

30. An apparatus as defined in claim 28, wherein the acoustic emission is at least one of audio associated with a media presentation or speech.

31. An apparatus as defined in claim 25, wherein the media monitoring information is information indicative of at least one of a video presentation or an audio presentation.

32. An apparatus as defined in claim 25, wherein the instructions further cause the processor to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on whether the audience member is at least one of carrying or wearing a portable meter of the audience measurement system in compliance with the usage guidelines.

33. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc comprising instructions that, when executed, cause a machine to at least: determine whether an audience member is in compliance with usage guidelines based on a time difference between a first timestamp associated with a first acoustic event and a second timestamp associated with a second acoustic event; tag media monitoring information as non-compliant in response to determining that the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines; and generate a non-compliance message to be communicated to the audience member in response to determining that the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines.

34. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 33, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines by comparing the time difference to a non-compliance time threshold.

35. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 34, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to determine that the audience member is not in compliance with the usage guidelines if the time difference is not less than the non-compliance time threshold.

36. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 33, wherein the first acoustic event is indicative of an acoustic emission detected via an audio detector.

37. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 36, wherein the acoustic emission is at least one of a scraping sound, a tapping sound, or a wind sound.

38. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 36, wherein the acoustic emission is at least one of audio associated with a media presentation or speech.

39. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 33, wherein the media monitoring information is information indicative of at least one of a video presentation or an audio presentation.

40. A computer-readable storage device or storage disc as defined in claim 33, wherein the instructions further cause the machine to determine whether the audience member is in compliance with the usage guidelines based on whether the audience member is at least one of carrying or wearing a portable meter of the audience measurement system in compliance with the usage guidelines.