Both numeric and textual data are accommodated by the system.

Numeric opinion data, on a rating scale of 1 to 5, are input using a touchscreen as a digital slideswitch. Fig.1.

  • The screen is divided into 5 segments. 
  • Granularity to 1/10th of an integer.  
  • Sampling rate set by the content provider, or triggered by change of input.

The slideswitch uses haptics to communicate to the user. Fig. 2.

  • As your thumb slides from one segment to another, the appropriate number of pulses or thumps, indicate the segment you are entering, thus your location on the scale. This informs the user of the rating being sent without having to look at the screen. 
  • An enthusiastic user may "push a vote" by lifting their thumb and tapping the touchscreen, repeating the last "vote".  

The haptic generator supplies a low level background vibration whenever the thumb is moving on the touchscreen. Fig. 3.

  • The frequency may increase or decrease appropriately, with direction of movement.
  • Vibration stops around the mid-point or neutral zone (2.5) to indicate a neutral rating.
  • The user feels the lack of vibration and senses their neutral rating without looking. This is analogous to the self-centering feature of a mechanical joystick.

The app supplies a continuous rating of program content while remaining open and on top for uninterrupted access.

Textual opinion data are input on the touchscreen keyboard or dictated. These data are words or short phrases that convey an impression or feeling. Data are filtered, processed and ranked by frequency.

  • Textual opinion may be solicited or unsolicited, as in, “YELLING at the TV!”. (Actually dictating). But this time you can expect to be heard.

theQuestion’s dynamic opinion database offers the potential to comment on any media, live or replayed, calculate a new result and display it in real-time, as long as the media has a time signature.


Output graphics package offers multiple analytical tools. Displays may be retransmitted to the app, and also rebroadcast, to reward participation, 

The numeric display depicts a composite of features on an overlay above program content. Fig. 4. (Shown on tablet). 

  • The users current rating (36) is indicated next to their thumb, and may be compared to (18), all participants' current mean.  
  • A short history trace (16) scrolls from right to left for reference -- within recent memory (e.g. 1 to 5 min.). 
  • The dynamic distribution (20) informs of the disparity of opinion of users. May display undated input continuously as received --  a sparkling  reward to participants.

Textual output are ranked by frequency and displayed as a wordcloud, in this embodiment. Fig. 5. 

  • This conveys a feeling, the attitude of the audience, even the ambiance of the community, in an easily understood graphic. 
  • A conversation among many -- as opposed to the current standard: an anecdote  or two.