MIT’s Mood Meter

To celebrate MIT’s 150th anniversary, the renowned Media Lab rolled out a cool installation called the “Mood Meter” that analyzed the facial expressions of passerby’s at various locations across the campus to generate an estimate of the community’s “happiness level”. Check out the video to see it action.

While a cool application and remarkable for its off-the-shelf componentry, what’s interesting to us is (1) the potential here for brands to interact with audiences in a somewhat passive manner that doesn’t require visitors to jump through hoops and (2) the distributed nature of the installation, which wired together inputs and data from across a wide geographic area in real-time to provide an overarching view.

One can imagine a potential application at high-end retail for instance, to both entertain and engage buyers while acting as a feedback loop on the store – and even chain - customer experience. And unlike 10 years ago, the hardware and software know-how is relatively easy to access and deploy.

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