UK agency Smyle rolls out emotion analytics for physical and digital events

UK-based creative agency Smyle has launched emotion analytics to measure the emotional impact of physical and digital events in real time.

This latest development, 'Return on Emotion', adopts facial recognition, pulse rate sensors and neurotechnology to track feelings of joy, excitement, nervousness or even boredom among event attendees.

Part of its new measurement practice Smyle Metric, "Return on Emotion" has been created in response to an array of vague vanity metrics and malpractices, including results which look good on paper but don’t actually provide any context or actionable insights, according to the agency.

In addition, the agency said the new approach provides valuable insights into what matters: Audience beliefs, behaviours and emotional responses, adding that this can make future life experiences more fulfilling.

“This is our answer to an industry-wide problem and raises the bar on outdated measurement practices. We are in the business of creating an emotional response in our audience, yet historically there haven’t been tools to measure emotional impact," said Dax Callner, strategy director of Smyle.

"When we deliver positive emotional resonance, we know the result will have a profitable impact on our clients’ business," he added. 

To measure audiences' emotions, Smyle leverages a number of technologies to gain insights during both physical and virtual events. For example, thermal imaging cameras, voice recognition technology, expression recognition software and wristband heart rate monitors are some examples.

For more intimate events, neurotechnology headsets can even be used to measure electrical activity of brains and signpost moments of excitement, relaxation or focus. A more discrete option is to build tiny sensors into wristbands to detect small changes in the electrical resistance of the skin or measure heart rates to reveal changes in the wearer’s emotion.

However, as privacy is a primary concern these days, guests will always be made aware of the application of these technologies and given the choice to opt in or out. In addition, no individual’s identifying features will be either recorded or stored, according to Smyle.