Biometric Storyboards

Biometric storyboards are approaches that combine quantitative physiological measures of player arousal with traditional observation-based user research methodologies. The biometrics-based approach enabled researchers to discover latent issues related to players’ feelings, immersion, and gameplay experience and, in certain categories of issues, reveal up to 63% more issues than observation alone.

The Biometric storyboards are drawn on (1) a player’s physiological arousal signals (GSR), (2) player post-session interviews to explain 'why' the change in their GSR occurred, (3) players’ self-drawn diagrams of their gameplay experience and (4) Observation of player gameplay behavior (or context).

The main challenge of this approach is how to visualize the biometric data and interpret them.

More information and examples can be seen here


Mirza-Babaei P, Nacke L, Fitzpatrick G, et al. Biometric storyboards: visualising game user research data[C]//CHI'12 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2012: 2315-2320.

Mirza-Babaei P. Biometrics to improve methodologies on understanding player's gameplay experience[C]//Proceedings of the 25th BCS Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. British Computer Society, 2011: 546-549.

Mirza-Babaei P, Long S, Foley E, et al. Understanding the contribution of biometrics to games user research[C]//Proc. DiGRA. 2011.

iMotions Biometric and Eye Tracking Platform

iMotions is a flexible software program that allows the synchronization and visualization of multiple streams of data from different sources. The program can read data from a variety of commercially-available physiology sensors. With the right upgrades, it can also estimate emotions based on facial expression (specifically, by automated detection and analysis of facial action units).

How to Use it?

  1. Setup Study: Design your study to fulfill your specific research questions. Setup participants, stimuli, sequencing, questions, segmentations, groups

  2. Connect Sensor: Plug-and-play those biometric sensors needed to carry out your research and/or integrate any third-party sensors via the API Module

  3. Collect Data: Present stimuli & record data from all biosensors connected to the participant, make live (and/or post-processing) annotations

  4. Analyze Data: Make as many reports as needed to analyze your data, individually and/or aggregated visualizations and raw data exports

iMotions Features:

  • Facial Expression Recognition

  • Eye Tracking

  • EEG

  • GSR


  • Surveys

  • And other 3rd Party Sensors

More info on the software here

Physiological Sensors

Commonly used measures:

  • Cardiac Activity: Heartbeat, electrocardiogram (ECG), photoplethysmograph (PPG), Heart rate variability (HRV)

  • Skin Conductance: Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), electrodermal activity (EDR)

  • Muscle Activity: Facial Electromyography (FEMG)

  • Brain Activity: ERPs, brain waves (electroencephalography, EEG), fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)

  • Pupillometry: Electro-oculogram (EOG), Direction-of-gaze eye movement tracking.

Some Existing Products:

  • Mindware ambulatory monitoring instruments: MindWare's line of ambulatory and wireless monitoring solutions are flexible to meet your most demanding research needs. There are four different ambulatory monitoring instruments for such measures as ECG, EMG, EEG, EOG, skin conductance (GSC), impedance cardiography, goniometers, accelerometers, and other transducers. The MindWare BioNex line provides a flexible, upgradeable, powerful and easy to use system for all your laboratory data acquisition needs. The BioNex line has two different mainframes, a 2 slot and an 8 slot unit that are capable of up to 8 and 32 configurable channels respectively. They are customizable with any of the six signal conditioning and two audio/video modules for synchronized audio/video collection. MindWare's BioLab acquisition and analysis application seamlessly integrates everything to give you the "total picture" on multiple or single subject studies in psychology, behavior, and biomechanics applications.

  • AcqKnowledge: MP data acquisition and analysis systems with AcqKnowledge® provide a flexible tool for research labs. Use the modular data acquisition system with BIOPAC amplifiers, transducers, and accessories or existing equipment. New wireless systems include BioNomadix® physiology monitoring devices for ECG, EEG, EGG, EMG, EOG, Respiration, Temperature, Pulse, EDA, Impedance Cardiography, Gyro, and Accelerometer. Lab solutions include noninvasive blood pressure, stimulators & stimulus presentation, systems for use with MRI, fNIR optical brain imaging, cognitive state metrics, Virtual Reality systems, gas analysis, and tissue bath systems, plus data logging and telemetry.

  • Embrace: A wearable that tracks photoplethysmography, continuous heart rate, electrodermal activity, skin conductance, temperature and heat flux, and movement and activity. Includes an accelerometer for gesture tracking as well.

AFFDEX Express

AFFDEX EPRESS is an automatic Facial Action Coding System with a scale. It is built based on groundbreaking research out of MIT Media Labs, and offers researchers ways to analyze and capture emotion.

The technology employs sophisticated computer vision algorithms to capture and identify emotional reactions to visual stimuli. Affdex is easy to use, anywhere. One can use it with only a webcam and there is no software to install. It is unobtrusive and portable.

Affdex Express technology interprets emotional expressions from users’ faces as they view content—in their homes, offices, or on the go. Researchers can use Affdex Express to conduct survey questions. This ability combined with analysis of user emotional reactions forms a good way to triangulate different methods to understand the impact of content on users.

More information here