NEWS3 June 2009

GfK tests facial expression analysis system

Europe Technology

GERMANY— GfK is testing a new technology designed to record and analyse facial muscle movements in order to determine people’s emotions.

The firm is working with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits and emotional psychologist Klaus Scherer of the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences in Geneva.

The software-based system is currently undergoing a feasibility study to investigate how feelings such as interest, enjoyment or disgust can be read from facial expressions by recording even very subtle muscle movements.

The firm said: “In communications research or new product development, a system that measures emotions accurately and is workable in practice can provide new and unique insights: what a person actually feels when watching an advertisement, how the experienced communication affects the emotional image of a brand or which emotions a person experiences when testing a new product.”

Once the feasibility study is complete the firm plans to develop the system to recognise a full range of emotions, and look into the possibility of combining it with vocal analysis.