An innovative marketing tool that utilises a facial recognition headset has nabbed the inaugural DuPont Sustainable Solutions Innovation Award. The headset works to capture and measure a consumer’s facial expression, eye gaze, heart rate and brain function.
The technology has the potential to change the way marketers advertise and retail outlets design and merchandise their stores. Traditionally, consumer reaction to marketing content is measured through methods such as focus groups or interviews in a controlled environment.
“It’s a bit like a lie detector test for the retail industry,” said Professor Ian Phau, who heads up the marketing research team at the CBS, which has spent several years developing and refining the technology.
“Consumers can’t cheat. By measuring and analysing an individual’s physiological reactions, a retailer can understand how a consumer really feels.”
These insights will enable retailers to better understand their consumers’ conscious and unconscious thoughts as well as their feelings. As a result, marketers and retailers will be better equipped to attract, engage, retain and satisfy consumers based on these data.
The prize for the developers of the technology is a trip to the recently launched DuPont Innovation Hub in Singapore which houses nearly 200 scientists, engineers and business leaders.
Criteria for the award included the need to demonstrate ability to turn an idea into something, valued through its application to academia, industry or the community.
Head judge Professor Fran Ackermann said the application was extremely clear in its articulation of the innovation and was innovative both in terms of the product and its application.
“The application will provide marketers and retailers with a valuable tool which could make a considerable difference to their approach to attracting consumers,” Professor Ackermann said.
“Now more than ever, industry and university collaboration is critical to Australia’s productivity and competitiveness and the DuPont Curtin University Innovation awards is the first step to fostering a long term sustainable relationship which will work towards industry connected research.
“DuPont recognises the importance of collaboration to achieve true innovation that will address unmet needs,” said Rodney Nelson, DuPont Sustainable Solutions’ regional director for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands. “We are privileged to support and partner with Curtin University, one of the top universities worldwide with a progressive approach and a strong research capability.”