Demo Traction: This Start-Up Can Read Your Poker Face

BOSTON — The cameras inside a McDonalds recently captured the facial expressions of customers and employees. Every tick, twitch, smile or frown was fed into a computer algorithm.

The algorithm, from start-up Emotient, determined how everybody was feeling about the service: Employees who were stressed out during the lunch hour rush transmitted their stress to customers. Customers were also more unhappy while waiting for their order than when they were waiting to order in the first place.

Emotient, whose software uses video streams for emotion detection and sentiment analysis based on facial expressions, is targeting retail, legal and advertising firms — any market where reading people’s emotions can give them an edge.

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Author: Celia Graham

Celia Graham is a Canadian technology journalist who has written for many news outlets. she has covered the web hosting and cloud computing industry. She also has a roving brief to write about Startups, Venture Capital, technology trends and emerging markets.