Wednesday 14 September 2011

New emotion detector to identify a bluffing KAM?

Did you happen to notice the new security camera, the buyer playing with a thermal sensor, while sucking on a suite of algorithms, at that last business review meeting?
A new system that uses a simple video camera, a high-resolution thermal imaging sensor and a suite of algorithms can detect lies just by watching our faces as we talk, experts say.
Developed by a team from the universities of Bradford and Aberystwyth in conjunction with the UK Border Agency, the system was unveiled today at the British Science Festival in Bradford.
It builds on years of research into how we all unconsciously, involuntarily reveal our emotions in subtle changes of expression and the flow of blood to our skin.
We give our emotions away in our eye movements, dilated pupils, biting or pressing together our lips, wrinkling our noses, breathing heavily, swallowing, blinking and facial asymmetry. And these are just the visible signs seen by the camera. Even swelling blood vessels around our eyes betray us, and the thermal sensor spots them too.
However, as the stakes rise in supplier-retailer relationships, it is important for KAMs to match every technical move of the buyer with equivalent technical aids in order to ensure a fair-share outcome…
A fascinating article in the New Scientist describes experiments with a pair of hi-tech glasses that can  whisper in the KAM’s ear through a headphone attached to the glasses. It reveals when the buyer is "confused" or "disagreeing". All the while, a red light built into the specs starts blinking above the right eye warning the KAM to stop talking. It seems as though the wearer has developed an extra sense.
The glasses can send this information thanks to a built-in camera linked to software that analyses the buyer’s facial expressions. They're just one example of a number of "social X-ray specs" that are set to transform interpersonal interaction. . The camera tracks 24 "feature points" on the buyer’s face, and software analyses the myriad micro-expressions, how often they appear and for how long. It then compares that data with its bank of known expressions By sensing emotions that we would otherwise miss, these technologies can thwart disastrous social gaffes and help us understand each other better. Some companies are already wiring up their employees with the technology, to help them improve how they communicate with customers.
The real issue is whether this boost to our emotional intelligence goes too far in helping the KAM to interpret feelings the buyer might rather keep private?

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