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How the iPhone X will reshape our industry

Last November, iPhone X burst on to the scene. In among the glossy launch video, there's one thing that stands out: Apple's use of facial recognition technology.

This technology will power Face ID, the ability to unlock your phone and verify payments simply by looking at the screen, as well as animoji, next generation emojis you can control with your face.

But it's not grinning emojis that are exciting people, it’s the broader applications of facial recognition technology within a mobile device. This technology has the power to get us closer to real behaviour, enabling us to understand consumers’ emotional reactions in the moment and in context. It could transform everything from ad effectiveness research to UX testing, taking it out of artificial environments and into the real world so we’re able to uncover real consumer behaviour.

When can we expect to get our hands on this technology? Possibly in the next two years. Apple intends to make some of the biometric information it collects available to third-party app developers, but not for the purposes of marketing and advertising. Yet.

As companies like Google, whose business model is built around advertising, introduce the technology and as consumer adoption of these devices hits the mainstream, the opportunity presented by facial data will be too valuable to pass by. We believe that, with consumers’ permission, it will be opened up to marketers, advertisers and most excitedly for us, insight professionals.

 

Emma Muckersie
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