This Google Glass App Will Detect Your Emotions, Then Relay Them Back To Retailers

The Emotient app could measure how customers feel about products or promotions. It could also screen for depression.

After raising a $6 million series B round, facial recognition company Emotient will open a private beta for a Google Glass app that detects users' emotions in real time. Venture-capital firm Handbag led the financing, which closed in December but was announced Thursday, bringing the total amount raised to $8 million.

Emotient's technology works by detecting subtle pattern changes in a person's face. The software, which can be used to measure emotion in individuals and crowds, can tell if a person is feeling positive or negative overall and zero in on more specific emotions, such as joy, sadness, surprise, anger, fear, disgust, and contempt. Though the company envisions many applications for its technology, it sees the most potential in retail. With Emotient's Glass app, which will be available to select partners and customers, retail store workers can gauge the success of a campaign or promotion. To address privacy concerns, CEO Ken Denman said Emotient aggregates data that is anonymized. "We don't store images," he told Fast Company. "We basically take the data and aggregate it with other information we've taken from other individuals."

Emotient cofounder Marian Bartlett demonstrates the Google Glass app.Image: Emotient

The other space Emotient is targeting is health care. Cofounder Marian Bartlett said the technology can be used to help screen depression, a costly ailment for health care providers because it is often linked to other health problems, such as heart disease. Furthermore, she said patients who suffer from depression often have slower recovery times following surgery. "It is treatable if we can screen for it and detect it," she said.

Judging by patent filings, Google and Apple are also interested in the ability to measure emotions by analyzing eye movements--primarily for the purpose of serving ads. In Google's case, the search giant was interested in tracking users' emotional responses to ads with a head-mounted display, charging advertisers on a "pay-per-gaze" basis. Intel, an Emotient customer and investor, has also added the startup's libraries to an SDK that developers can use in their own applications.

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18 Comments

  • my co-worker's aunt makes $83 every hour on the computer . She has been fired for six months but last month her pay check was $15047 just working on the computer for a few hours. check my source =======>>>>>>www.job39.com

  • Buck Wheat

    And of course it is all transmitted back to Big Brothers enablers head quarters. Google is an evil company, you are forewarned.

  • Andrew Boon

    Interesting thought on retail trends. Retailers should adopt new technology and integrate mobile into their marketing efforts this will help retailers connect with customers. I work for McGladrey and thought this conversation aligns well with a white paper that was created on this subject, if your readers are interested in it.@ “ The one constant in retail is change” http://bit.ly/1hrViqk

  • David Allentown

    Some inventions search endlessly for a practical use that is always never attainable

  • This is really interesting and fascinating. I see this doing wonders for marketing (if people are cooperative) and for healthcare. I'm excited to see where this goes. Although on a more personal level, I can see the viral youtube comedy sketch now: "Google Glass detects your girlfriend isn't fine even though she said she is. Google Glass indicates your girlfriend is in fact raging." "Google Glass detects your boss is showing signs of happiness which might be due to the fact that he had a date scheduled last night. Might be a good time to ask for that raise!"

  • Steve Meadows

    Women will love this. Women always expect guys to detect how they feel and now they have an app for that.

  • Chris Ness

    Let me see if I understand this: the retailer wants ME to put THEIR app in MY property to tell HIM how I feel. Is that their business plan? What's in it for me? The same as most of those frequent shopper cards, not a damn thing.

  • Why don't they save their 6 million dollars and just let people, I don't know, maybe TELL you how they feel? Are we so out of touch with normal human contact that we need an app to tell us how the person across from us is feeling?

  • Think about an app producer point of view. For instance if you made a game and at some part it have a video. It is impractical to ask each one of your users what they feel at that part, this could help them. And most of people don't talk what they feel when they don't feel anything in special. I think this could tell they're neutral or something. So you can see how much impact that scene caused.

  • Don Humphreys

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    Sounds like the Mood Ring from the 70's. LOL!

    What's next from Google? The Party Ring?