qualia logo



Qualia is a ground-breaking new digital technology and research project, which aims to revolutionize the way audience experiences at arts and culture events are evaluated. The project will help us develop a greater understanding of the less tangible impacts of public engagement with arts and culture.

With funding from the prestigious Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, Qualia is developing new technology to enable the collection of audience profile information, live evaluation and feedback, and real-time measurement of impact indicators at arts and cultural events.

Cheltenham Festivals have hosted the development of the new Qualia app, which is being created by experts at Plymouth and Warwick universities. This project provides an opportunity for one of the foremost Festival organisations in the country to join forces with leading digital technology experts at Plymouth and evaluation and impact researchers from Warwick to look at how new technological developments can help us serve our audiences better. The ultimate aim is to create a transferable evaluation tool that allows arts and culture organisations to programme cultural events and on-going activities based on robust, real-time knowledge about audience responses, thereby enhancing the sector’s economic, cultural and social impact.

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is run by Nesta in partnership with Arts Council England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Face and smile detection for live video feeds and images


Data capture and processing backend powering the rest of the Qualia projects


Personal scheduling and feedback mechanism for a visitor’s smartphone


Public information kiosks and interactive feedback points


Digital art installation, coming to Cheltenham Literature Festival 2013


Natural language processing tool to calculate mood and emotion from social media