The emotions of the IoT

Published by Telefónica IoT Team Smart Retail

Understanding emotions is crucial in new marketing strategies. Due to the oversaturation of products and approaches, new formulas have to be found that help the retail sector sell an increasing number of products. Knowing clients’ emotions can be a fundamental advantage in this respect. So how can we get this information? The technology associated with the Internet of Things is the key that will open the doors to a more efficient and satisfactory way of buying.

Detecting human emotions

Of course, the first step in understanding what a client is feeling is to detect their emotions. This may seem like science fiction, but it is the subject of study by many behavioural specialists. Emotions are reflected in things as simple as our face, our tone of voice or our gestures. And to be able to detect patterns, the first thing we need to do is measure them.

For example, you can analyze the expression of a face or its gestures to know if a customer is surprised, pleased or bored. Facial patterns are currently an inexhaustible source of study for various topics because they provide a lot of information on the emotions we feel.

On the other hand, the voice is also an inestimable source of information. We can detect accents, tones, nuances, doubts and a host of features from it. By 2022, over 70 million households will have at least one voice assistant in their home, and the total number of devices installed will top 175 million. According to several studies, you can also ascertain a person’s interest in a topic via their voice.

If we add this to the biometric data that can be obtained from other wearables, such as the increasingly popular wristbands that measure the heart rate or skin moisture, the amount of data we can collect on the emotions generated in a person is huge.

The role of Artificial Intelligence

Once we get the right measurements from a multitude of connected devices (cameras, voice assistants, biometric wristbands), the next step is to analyze them. To do this, nothing fits the bill better than Artificial Intelligence.

The technology associated with AI allows us to analyze patterns that at first seem chaotic or too complex. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, we can create algorithms that learn and improve with the data they process, so they collect information in an increasingly efficient way.

Big Data appears alongside Artificial Intelligence to offer the possibility of using massive amounts of data to better analyze the parameters that determine clients’ emotions. And all this, from the collection of information to its distribution and processing, is done thanks to the Internet of Things.

A more efficient IoT

When talking about emotions, the IoT is facing a new market niche in which marketing has a lot to gain. Yet so does the Internet of Things itself, since this type of analysis will allow it to be more effective in all its tasks. With the results of these analyses, developers can generate more pleasant or efficient applications.

Designers, administrators and ultimately everyone related to a brand can also learn something. The information obtained from emotions, which are a manifestation of our desires, among other things, will make IoT applications better in all senses.

Thus, a music player could adapt its automatic song list to the user's mood at that moment. Thanks to connectivity, the application could send a signal to a nearby business that had a beacon so it could offer information (an ad, for example) which is especially relevant to the user’s mood. And this is just one example.

All of this is not just about usability. The IoT involves many aspects: colours, sounds, touch, aesthetics, lights, the combination of all of them. With this analysis of emotions, the IoT has a great deal to gain by adapting the characteristics of a product or an application to the mood of a user automatically and in real time, thanks to the connectivity offered by the Internet of Things.

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Telefónica IoT Team