Apple has acquired San Diego-based facial analysis firm Emotient, for an undisclosed sum, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Emotient's system tracks nineteen different basic muscle movements and is based around what the firm calls the seven expressions of primary emotion - joy, surprise, sadness, anger, fear, disgust and contempt, along with other measures of positive, negative and neutral feeling. In 2014, the company raised $6m in a Series B round of funding, and launched new 'glassware', using the camera of Google Glass to measure wearers' emotions. Advertisers use the technology to assess viewers' reactions to ads, while retailers use it to monitor shoppers' facial expressions in store aisles.
An Apple spokeswoman confirmed to the WSJ that the acquisition had gone ahead, adding: 'Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans'.
Web sites: www.apple.com and www.emotient.com .
All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.