Brands have recognised the significant ramifications of the Internet of Things (IoT) for retail, marketing, and beyond. With billions of connected devices expected to be in use in the world in the next 2-3 years, the technology is here to create a marketplace of data, opening up entirely new lines of business.
Yet what brands might not have identified, is how smart computing is now fast-moving from IoT to "the Internet of Eyes (IoE)".
As everyday objects become outfitted with smart cameras or the latest visual recognition technology, there are now cameras and sensors that can recognise individuals, learn habits and even measure emotions, Francisco Marin Romero, founder and chief artificial intelligence officer for Synapbox, tells Marketing.
The two-year-old Mexico-based startup, recently participated in the INFINITI LAB Global Accelerator 3.0 program, is one of a few content testing platforms which lets brands test digital content, and obtain reliable and actionable analytics through the use of facial recognition technology.
Through camera sensors and AI analysis, its technology recognises eyeballs and cheekbone positions of a user to identify his or her emotions when one is surfing through websites or using an app. The six emotions it can recognise include: happy, surprise, neutral, angry, sadness and frustration.
Romero says the company has been partnering with several consumer brands and agencies in Latin America, including CocaCola and Samsung, to assist them to approach focus groups.
"The problem with focus group is, customers might not put every feeling verbally. They might get so used to ads that they skip the pop-up ads on your website almost automatically, but they wouldn't announce to you on that," he explains.
"But through facial coding and eye tracking inputs, you can tell how they are behaving on your websites, whether if your brand's user interface is frustrating, whether your ads are placed at the wrong place etc, by understanding their emotions when they are engaging with your content."
"The in-depth analysis of the person being tracked can be turned into actionable data, helping brands understand what content works best for them."
The problem with focus group is, customers might not put every feeling verbally. But through facial coding and eye tracking inputs, you can tell [...] their emotions when they are engaging with your content.
Romero says the technology is fast-booming in Latin America and China, and competition is fierce in these two regions. Its competition is relatively slower in Hong Kong and Australia, but they are the biggest markets with the biggest business potential in Asia.
Similarly, Dane Fisher, general manager, global business transformation & brand for INFINITI, sees emerging sensor technology an opportunity for better obtain and analyse consumer data to maximise engagement and create more effective campaigns.
He adds that the isolation environment brands usually provide in focus groups sometimes lessen the relevance of the result.
"The fact is there are always distractions in the real-world, and the positive feedbacks do not always translate into real happy smiles when the customers actually use our product," he explains.
The fact is there are always distractions in the real-world, and the positive feedbacks do not always translate into real happy smiles when the customers actually use our product.
"But new sensor technologies like eye-trackers are adding scalable alternatives to that, greatly enhancing the product development process."