Phonemaker reportedly buys artificial intelligence firm Emotient to get more in touch with its users
Apple’s next iPhone devices could come with the ability to read your mood just by analysing your facial expressions, after the company reportedly tied up a deal to acquire a leading AI firm.
The phone giant has reportedly bought Emotient, which describes itself as a leader in emotion “detection and sentiment analysis”, and looks to help businesses understand their customer needs via their immediate emotional responses.
However, Apple is yet to confirm exactly what it plans to do with Emotient or its software, the Wall Street Journal reported, with the company simply stating that, “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Emotient says that its software is able to read the expressions of individuals and crowds to gain insights that can be used by advertisers to assess viewer reaction or a medical practitioner to better understand signs of pain in patients.
Founded in 2012, the San Diego-based company has recently raised significant venture capital investment from the likes of Intel Capital and Seth Neiman
The company’s website is fairly bare for the time being, with links to press and media contacts seemingly broken, which would suggest a shake-up in its current situation.
The use of artificial intelligence with smartphones and other mobile devices has not been a subject of much attention to date, as use cases in the smart home and workplace dominate instead.
However back in October, the technology gained a major backer when the co-creator of Android, Andy Rubin said he believed AI will form the basis of the next big development in computing.
“There is a point in time – I have no idea when it is – it won’t be in the next ten years, or twenty years – where there is some form of AI, for lack of a better term, that will be the next computing platform,” he said.
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