Apple, Honda and Saudi Arabia walk into a bar…

The world's leading brands are investing in emotions – and so should you

From robots that become Saudi Arabian citizens, cars that understand the driver's experience, to emojis that react in real-time to facial expressions or, ahem… animojis, it seems that emotions are being utilized everywhere. And that is no surprise, as understanding human emotions is the key to get us, humans, ever so close to the technology we interact with and depend on.

Frustrating technology might become a thing of the past when you consider scenarios like these:

  1. Imagine your car identifies a pattern of frustration when the GPS directs you down a certain route. Your car signals the GPS to guide you through another route. You see, now the fastest way is not the only parameter to consider, rather your overall commuting experience as a driver.
  2. Another example could be movie recommendations. Rather than scrolling through an endless wall of items, Netflix could offer you a movie based on the number of times you laughed on a similar film. Or even how well you reacted to a plot twist.
  3. Or what about healthcare? A doctor could see emotional patterns on a patient, see the progression over time and make recommendations more relevant to the specific patient's journey.

While exploring deeper, we realize that many industries can benefit from understanding our emotions and using those as actionable triggers to generate more pleasant experiences. This is not news per se, in fact, industries such as the criminal justice system, advertising, consumer goods and retailers have long depended on biometrics and biofeedback to understand and relate to emotions.

With technological advances in artificial intelligence, we've finally reached a stage where automated biometric systems are a possibility. In fact, these can now fit in your pocket, as is the case with the new iPhone X. These advancements will further increase the influence of our relationship with technology and overall satisfaction.

Automated biometric systems have only become available over the last few decades, due to significant advances in the field of computer processing. Many of these new automated techniques, however, are based on ideas that were originally conceived hundreds, even thousands of years ago.
— Stephen Mayhew

We should all be aware of these technological achievements and adopt them early to redirect our brand initiatives, connect with audiences, understand customer experiences and dictate product/service roadmaps. In this case, the sky is truly the limit in finding applications which humans can emotionally interact with.

Our CEO, Bharat Krish, demonstrates the emotion recognition capabilities of our AI engine at 30fps - the fastest in its class.

To further prove this point, our CEO recently posted a video of our real-time emotion recognition AI engine, and the ideas flooded in.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

  • Improve education by understanding the student/instructor/curriculum dynamics
  • Identify stress levels in employees, patients, students, etc.
  • Feedback on product desirability within retail
  • Emotion awareness and behavioral feedback in robotics
  • Analyzing spectator reactions in sports – Football, Cricket, Boxing, etc.
  • Fraud detection for financial institutions

Lee Carter explains in her article "Why PR pros should focus on emotions", that "Facts are important, but to win consumers over, you must appeal to their emotions". And that rings very true, considering that emotions are a trigger for hard decisions such as what car to buy, but also soft (or involuntary) decisions like what detergent reminds me of the smell of when my mom washed my bedding as a child — something much harder to identify if not by understanding emotions (hint: a strong factor in brand developing loyalty).

Facts are easy; something is either true or false. Emotions, on the other hand, are tricky. There are many appropriate and effective ways to engage audiences emotionally, but selecting the best approach should depend on the situation.
— Lee Carter

In conclusion, emotion aware technology is here to stay and brands will continue to adapt to unique use cases at an unprecedented pace. We should all pay attention and figure out creative ways in which we could benefit from emotional awareness and build better products and experiences for ourselves.

What are some use cases you can think of which can benefit from emotional awareness? Leave a comment below.

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