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NEC partners to launch retail insight services powered by biometrics and AI


NEC Corporation and Macromill, Inc. have announced the joint development of a set of consumer insight marketing services that leverage artificial intelligence and biometrics, and which will be offered with analytics service D-Profile.

The services include a Central Location Test using biometric line-of-sight and EEG information to record unconscious reactions and activity logs, providing deeper insight into consumer responses to things like packaging to help marketing and product development. Line-of-sight data is provided by NEC’s remote gaze detection AI technology, “NEC the Wise.” The services, which will launch in April 2019, also include customer purchase prediction. AI will be applied to consumer data sets from Macromill, which include the biometric data, age, gender, purchase history, access log, and other attribute information.

Applying NEC the Wise to public sector use cases is one of the reasons NEC gave for its recent acquisition of KMD.

“Through this collaboration, NEC and Macromill seek to create a society where each consumer can benefit from more tailored services and pursue a richer life,” says NEC Corporation Senior Vice President Osamu Fujikawa. “We believe that by providing data and analytics that reflect consumer trends and values, our clients can better customize their marketing activities. In addition, we can support our clients’ efforts to own and utilize their proprietary data through safe data distribution.”

D-Profile is currently in use by clients in finance, consumer goods, and media sectors. Now NEC and Macromill are jointly developing a service to analyze in-store purchase behavior for new insights, which has reached the trial stage, and the companies hope to launch before the end of fiscal 2019.

“Macromill helps to solve marketing challenges by collecting and analyzing consumer data to deliver deeper insights into consumers – in the real and increasingly digital world,” said Toru Sasaki, Representative Executive Officer, Japan Operation, Macromill. “What’s so exciting about this collaboration is that we will be able to provide more refined insight into consumer activities enabling our clients to customize their marketing to their exact needs.”

A smart retail system from Remark Holdings has been providing customer insights with facial recognition and an array of sensors throughout the store since its launch late last year.

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