NEWS4 March 2011 uses Affectiva software to gauge ad reaction

North America Technology

US— Business information publisher is running an experiment to test and refine web-based face recognition technology developed by Affectiva.

In the Forbes experiment, readers are asked to turn their webcams on while watching the latest Volkswagen, Google and Doritos adverts. The site is publishing charts showing what percentage of viewers smiled at each advert, and how many viewers were left unimpressed.

Affectiva, a start-up founded by two scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, was awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) last month to develop an online version of its technology which reads facial expressions and determines people’s emotional and cognitive states.

The technology was originally designed to help autistic people better understand emotions, but is now being commercialised with the aid of the NSF grant.