BBC using facial recognition technology in viewer test study

July 4, 2014 - 

The BBC is currently using facial recognition technology in consumer focus groups to analyze how their viewers are responding and behaving towards popular BBC television shows, according to a report by The Telegraph.

The facial recognition technology is provided by British start-up CrowdEmotion, which use webcams with facial coding to accurately record the facial expressions, emotions and actions of each participant.

According to its website, CrowdEmotion is a central, cloud based technology that provides API access points so that its partners can “test their theories on the data, add emotional intelligence to their core businesses, and create value for their customers.”

So far, the pilot study with BBC Worldwide is testing the facial patterns of 200 individuals in the UK, measuring a wide range of emotions including happiness, surprise, anger, fear, disgust and sadness.

Once the UK leg of the international study is complete, CrowdEmotion and BBC will test participants in Russia and Australia, as well as a third in six other global markets. The companies are also planning additional monthly global research studies.

“This is the first study of its kind for BBC Worldwide to measure people’s emotional responses to programmes using a technology-led, neuroscience approach,” said David Boyle, executive vice president of BBC Worldwide Insight. “CrowdEmotion’s ability to capture, record and quantify our audience’s emotional attachment and engagement to our TV shows, places BBC Worldwide at the forefront of global audience research and ultimately determines what our fans love to watch.”

The facial recognition scanners will contribute to the network’s overall process of deciding what content to keep, as well as help to humanize the BBC Worldwide brand, said CrowdEmotion CEO Matthew Celuszak, who added that the company is ”here to innovate, bring emotions to life and reshape broadcast media through our findings”.

Last month, CrowdEmotion beat out 70 other nominees to win the ‘Innovators’ Innovator’ award at the Technology Innovators Forum in China.

The company is one of six start-ups that will be participating in this year’s BBC Worldwide Labs programme, along with Seenit, Rezonence, OP3NVoice, Verticly and Buddy Bounce.

CrowdEmotion offers greater insight into its technology and company in a video clip posted on its website.

Previously reported by BiometricUpdate.com, BBC was in talks to implment a biometric access control system for its network of buildings.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.