Marketers already know way to much about us thanks to online tracking, and now they have yet another powerful way to understand consumers.MIT startup Affectiva has created a webcam that codes facial expressions and a sensor that measures changes in body temperature. Both could be a huge way for brands to steamline the market research process.
Liz Gannes over at All Things Digital reports that MIT professor Rosalind Picard and research scientist Rana el Kaliouby initially created the technology to “help children with autism understand facial expressions,” but now marketing research companies like WWP Millard Brown and IPG Media Lab primarily use the products. Affectiva just raised $12 million in Series C funding from Kleiner Perkins and Horizon Ventures.
Kaliouby told Gannes that “we have the largest repository of facial responses ever collected in the world,” which is part of its webcam product, the Affdex dashboard.
According to the company site, the “dashboard provides overall emotion scores and real-time, scene-by-scene playback of facial data.” It can also compare the difference in emotional and facial responses from men and women, and people of different races.
Affectiva’s other product is the Q Sensor, which measures skin conductance — or in other words, how body temperature and sweat glands change over time.
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