Apple has acquired Emotient, a San Diego-based artificial intelligence startup that is well-known for working with its competitor, Google Glass, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Apple confirmed the acquisition to the Wall Street Journal.
Emotient uses artificial intelligence to scan a person’s face and read their emotions in a fraction of a second — technology that is particularly useful to advertisers and salespeople. One of its first wearable applications was a Google Glass add-on that the company hoped salespeople could use to judge whether a person really loves a product or not, according to TechCrunch.
But you don’t need Google Glass to use Emotient’s technology. The company’s Emotient Analytics platform could use cameras to scan a store’s customers and analyse in real-time how customers were responding to products.
One of the key’s to Emotient’s technology is to be able to scan a person’s face for emotions, but not store any personally identifiable information about them in the process. The use of face-scanning technology has been a privacy concern for many startups, although it’s unclear what Apple intends to do with the company.
In October, Apple went on an artificial intelligence buying spree, snapping up two companies in a matter of four days.