Apple Acquires ‘Emotient’ Emotion Detection Technology

Ali Salman
Posted 10 months ago

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has acquired an artificial intelligence startup, Emotient. Emotient’s cloud based technology makes use of artificial intelligence to sense emotions by analyzing facial expressions of an individual. Emotient’s website is still live followed by the acquisition that describes the technology as ‘the leader in emotion detection and sentiment analysis based on facial expressions. The company is at the vanguard of a new wave of emotion analysis that will lead to a quantum leap in customer understanding and emotion-aware computing.’

Emotient Has Been officially Acquired By Apple

The application of this technology is to measure customers unedited emotional reaction to ads, products and services, content or sales interactions. There might be various reasons for Apple to acquire the emotion detection technology, but what we can never be sure of. Moreover, Apple’s motives could also be classified as acquiring talent. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed along with the reasons to acquire Emotient.

An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the purchase with the company’s standard statement after an acquisition, saying Apple “buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” She declined to elaborate on the deal terms.

Previously, the company’s technology was being used by various advertisers to judge the quality and effectiveness of specific ads. The technology used by Emotient indicates via emotional reactions irrespective of the ad reactions being positive or negative. It is basically based on how viewers were watching the advertisement. According to the company’s LinkedIn profile, “Emotient’s flagship service, Emotient Analytics, analyzes videos of customers as they experience marketing, products and services,”


Emotient’s technology has the capability to detect facial expressions of hundreds of people at once in real world situations. This might mark an important feature as it can analyze emotions in an unfiltered manner for crowds. By processing facial feedback, the tech measures an overall emotion that can range from being positive, negative, sadness, disgust, fear, anger, surprise, contempt and other advanced emotions like confusion and frustration. Moreover, in September of the previous year, the company was issued a patent to make emotion detection anonymous and another patent to automate facial expressions analytics.

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Apple has a running list of acquired artificial intelligence companies and today’s buy adds to it. Apple bought Perceptio last October followed by another purchase of VocalIQ. It might be that Apple will one day make use of these takeovers and provide artificial services to customers, whether incorporated in its products or separately.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Share your views in the comments.


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