Tracy Dempsey of Sensum writes:
Northern Irish start-up Sensum gave audiences a taste of the future at the world's largest mobile industry conference in Barcelona last week.
Sensum co-creator Shane McCourt was invited to present the Sensum audience insights platform to a 1,000-strong crowd at the “Back to the Future: Mobile Innovation 2023” conference session at Mobile World Congress 2013. During the session, six start-ups pitched for votes as the company having the greatest impact on the global mobile industry over the next ten years. Select audience members used the Sensum platform to measure their emotional response to the pitches to see which were truly winning hearts and minds.
Progress in the field of neuroscience has revealed that humans are essentially emotional decision-makers who rationalise decisions after the fact. The Sensum platform captures that emotional response by measuring tiny changes in audience members' sweat levels, using galvanic skin response sensors worn on the fingers. The sensor units are paired with smartphones or tablets with the Sensum app installed, and the data is then uploaded to a cloud-based dashboard where visualisations show where audience attention peaked or dropped off.
Says McCourt, “Mobile World Congress 2013 gave us a fantastic opportunity to carry out testing and increase exposure of the platform. Sensum's innovative approach to audience testing at the ‘Back to the Future 2023’ session revealed a much deeper understanding of the six company pitches, with the top three companies being Cortexica, Ensygnia and Mobungo. Wearable technology was hailed as a key step change going forward by Peggy Johnson, VP in Qualcomm, at the MWC13 session so it was perfect timing for us to show how we've incorporated that into a full mobile solution with a live demonstration.”
“We're pleased to have had Sensum present as part of our Mobile Innovation session at Mobile World Congress,” says Michael O'Hara, Chief Marketing Officer of the GSMA. “The use of Sensum's audience insights platform brought a new element to the session, truly allowing attendees to experience the technology first-hand.”
Norbert Sagnard, marketing expert in mobile, who helped McCourt perform the live demo, adds “Since the body never lies, Sensum is bound to display true feelings every time, and without fail, Sensum matched the ‘show of hands’ audience vote on the pitches that day, emphasising its accuracy in assessing the real mood of a group of people”.
Second-placed Ensygnia's CEO and co-founder Richard H. Harris adds “It was great to get that immediate, emotional feedback on our presentation. The audience really seemed to 'get it' when I demonstrated the OneScan app; it was good to see that reflected and validated by the Sensum platform. It turned that gut reaction into a measurable, positive score.”
Morrison has demoed earlier prototypes of the platform at various media and technology events worldwide. Introducing Sensum at their Connected TV spring briefings, Channel 4 called it “the most futuristic demo you'll see today”. Now the futuristic is becoming more mainstream, as broadcasters, brands and media companies embrace wearable technology and affective computing to engage consumers and drive behavioural change. With the launch of the new Sensum platform, its creators are ready to help them do just that.