Russian Chain Tries Out Technology That Reads Shoppers’ Emotions

A Russian retail chain is experimenting with facial recognition technology that can read customers’ sex and age—and their emotions.

The chain, 280-store Ulybka Radugi, one of the largest retailers in Russia, is installing the technology at its automated checkouts beginning this month. The software, made by startup Synqera, read customers’ facial cues and customize displays based on their sex, age, and emotions.

“As soon as the person arrives to the checkout and puts in their loyalty card, it detects the age of the person, the sex of the person, the mood of the person, like do they smile easily,” says Ekaterina Savchenko, Synqera’s international marketing manager.

The software collects data from the loyalty card and shopping basket, and then provides the customer a visual presentation that may include special deals and offers. 

“It can analyze the purchase history to show what kind of items the person is buying right now, and suggest additional items,” Savchenko says.

The goal is to give a more targeted offering, she adds. 

“You can give extra bonuses to people at the checkout point,” Savchenko says. “You can create a piece of content that can be customized to [people] that are smiling or not smiling. You can add offers for products that are linked to the emotional response to the shopper.”

The technology also allows the retailers to give bonuses to customers who smile.

“Everyone is trying to be more engaged and involve customers more,” she says, adding that Synqera’s software allows retailers to make the checkout process into more of a fun, interactive game experience.

Readers can find out more about this technology here.

JCK News Director