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The Brief
Published: 2 Feb 2018

CES 2018 X Retail: Emotion-Tracking VR Headset

A virtual reality (VR) headset that measures and tracks the emotions of shoppers was among the standout innovations at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), staged in Las Vegas in January.

Californian start-up Looxid Labs claims the headset will help retailers to acquire a better understanding of shoppers’ emotional states, preferences and engagement.

Looxid Labs is convinced that emotional analysis will be a relevant and powerful commercial tool in the years ahead – see our Look Ahead for more on the power of emotions. Its emotion-tracking VR headset is equipped with six EEG sensors and two eye-tracking cameras assessing eye and brain movements that occur while watching VR content such as virtual store environments, ads or mock-ups of products.

The start-up uses artificial intelligence to translate the gathered data (combining shown content and the viewer’s bio-responses) into tangible insights. It claims the data is genuinely valuable, a step beyond the gimmickry of other emotion-reading technology, with the potential to offer profound insights to drive commercial decision-making both online and in-store.

Looxid Labs’ cutting-edge research projects include beta testing of VR for advertising, customer service, store design and merchandise selection. The company is working on a real-time updated analytics dashboard to provide retailers with easy-to-understand and actionable insights.

The company’s research could pave the way for real-time reactive VR environments responding to shopper behaviour. Prices or marketing messages could be changed to respond to low emotional engagement ratings from shoppers – see Reflexive Retail and Retail’s VR Futures.

For more on gauging the subtle emotions of shoppers, see Empathetic Brand Engagement.

See CES 2018 for more on future-shaping tools and materials. 

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