After running across some interesting research by a Harvard graduate student tracking happiness I started thinking about the use of this application in Advertising. For years advertisers have been running focus groups to test the effectiveness of their ads, but the use of sliders and surveys to track when users feel a certain way can be inaccurate. While some companies have made steps in the right direction to track users emotions with technologies such as eye tracking and pulse monitoring, what is the real future of emotional tracking and how will this translate into new emotional metrics for agencies.
By looking at some of the current technologies tracking emotion we may be better able to predict how this process will be evolved by advertisers in the future.
Track Your Happiness
The first project I mentioned by Harvard graduate student Matt Killingsworth uses an iPhone app to ask volunteers to survey their happiness for 50 sessions before providing a happiness report.
Putting a new twist on the scale rating system. The advertising metrics company MediaAnalyzer allows viewers to rate their emotional response to ads in real time from their home computer.
Co-developed by Essex University’s Vic Callaghan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Liping Shen to assist with distance learning programs, a blue-tooth ring sends information to the students tutors to help track their emotions and allows them to better understand the students attention span, level of understanding, and stress.
Emotion Wrist Watch
The U.S. Company Exmocare has developed a novel wristwatch, which is capable of monitoring many physiological signals. The watch can send a report regarding the wearer’s emotional and physiological state to a loved one or caretaker, via email, SMS, or instant messaging.
While these emotion tracking devices prove to be interesting, eliminating physical devices the user must enter data into or wear appears to be the real future. A few companies seem to be on the right track.
A UK based company ustilizes eye tracking software and emotional strength arousal to analyze users level of excitement when exposed to visual imagery, giving an anaylsis of emotional response.
For more info on this check out the article Measuring emotions using eye tracking.
Xbox 360: Project Natal
The most exciting advancement I’ve seen coming to the market is Microsoft Xbox 360’s new project natal which brings revolutionary controller free gaming and entertainment. This level of hands free analysis is the first step in truly being able to analyze a user or customers voice inflection and mannerisms in determining their emotional response.
To read an interesting post about the possibilities of similar technology in your phone click here.
With the ability to gather larger and more accurate emotional data from users, advertising agencies would have the ability to not only track the return a client has on investment (R.O.I.) but also the return on emotion (R.O.E.). Whether it be the emotional message appeal the agency has put into the advertising or the emotional connection a user has with that brand.