Quantifying Museum Visitor Attention Using Bluetooth Proximity Beacons

Jonathan DL Casano
Department of Information Systems and Computer Science

This work presents a study that analyzes the visitor experience by using location data collected through Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) beacons. A visual analysis of the visitors’ behavior and interactions with the artworks at the Ateneo Art Gallery, the first museum of modern art in the Philippines, was conducted.

Participants carried phones instrumented with an application that logged distance estimates from BLE beacons deployed around the museum. The logs were then analyzed to produce scarf plots that visually represent paths taken. The results show the potential of BLE beacons for indoor location tracking. Aggregated visualization of similar scarf plots showed four notable patterns that provide insights on the museum areas that draw attention. The assumed usual route (pattern1: Start at 1st floor, go to 2nd floor then visit 3rd floor) was confirmed and an uncommon visiting pattern was discovered (pattern 2: Start at 3rd floor, go to 2nd floor, then visit 1st floor). It was also found that some visitors do not get to explore the entire museum (pattern 3: Some visitors only went to the 1st and 2nd floors. Pattern 4: Some visitors only went to the 2nd and 3rd floors). These insights can be used to make decisions regarding exhibit arrangement or museum layout design.

The Immediate, Near, Far (INF) framework was built on top of this earlier study to provide a finer approximation of the visitors’ location in an enclosed space. It was used to operationalize the different metrics used to characterize visitors’ behaviors and such behaviors vis-à-vis tracked museum areas such as holding power and attraction power. Two additional metrics were introduced – the re-attraction power and nearness. This work strives to contribute to research on museum visitorship particularly within a developing world context.

Published papers

  • Casano, J. D., Agapito, J. L., Moreno, A., & Rodrigo, M. M. T. (2020, July). Quantifying Museum Visitor Attention Using Bluetooth Proximity Beacons. In International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 270-277). Springer, Cham.
  • Casano, J. D., Agapito, J. L., Moreno, A., & Rodrigo, M. M. T. (2021, April). INF-based Tracking and Characterization of Museum Visitor Paths and Behaviors Using Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons. Submitted to Journal: ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *