Rhythm Badge is an open-source, inexpensive research platform designed to measure face-to-face communication and team dynamics. Our studies have shown that team performance and group intelligence can be predicted by analyzing a group’s communication and interaction patterns.
We've already shown that electronic badges greatly reduce both the cost of such studies and the unconscious bias inherent in recording group interaction data. In the interest of extending and enhancing this line of research, we have developed Rhythm Badges as an inexpensive research tool. Our platform includes a custom hardware badge, a base-station that pulls data from the badges and monitors them, a server that monitors the system, and a data analysis package. These badges continuously capture an individual member’s vocal activity and proximity to other members who are wearing a badge.
The Rhythm Badges platform is a first step towards creating an open research tool that simplifies the technology required for group interaction studies. To this end, we made the technology available to the wider scientific community under the MIT license. We hope that by using these tools, researchers may more easily study the nature of teams and group behavior in new settings and at larger scales. We look forward to seeing the resulting research in 2019 and beyond.
This project is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and is being evaluated and deployed by research groups in the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.