In the US, app developer Iconicast has launched the Smurk, described as a human-like emoticon through which companies can gauge the collective mood of a crowd.
Co-founded in 2010 by cartoonist Pat Byrnes, Iconicast says Smurks will help quantify emotions across large audiences. Users can 'pinch and stretch' the Smurks' face into the exact expression of what they are feeling, and share those feelings via text, e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. Feedback can then be used to pinpoint the average mood of the crowd around them, or virtually by participating in a shared experience such as watching televised political debates.
Iconicast claims that Smurks can be used to provide an overall average mood relating to any place, event or product.
Byrnes, who has included more than 350 facial expressions in the new tool, comments: 'Smurks is poised to become a game changer for market researchers. Users can 'check in' - at a movie, restaurant or political debate - a Smurk that they morphed into exactly how they feel. Not only can consumers see the temperament of the event before they arrive, companies can average out the ratings for in-depth, detailed market research across millions of users globally.'
Web site: www.smurks.net .