A year in review: Affectiva’s 2014 highlights


By: Rana el Kaliouby, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer

Looking back, I can say that 2014 was an exciting year for Affectiva: we made substantial breakthroughs in our science, brought new products to market, expanded our partnerships and beefed up our marketing.

Also, we got significant media coverage and with that put Emotion Analytics and Insights on the map. Fast Company labeled our category “emotion-sensing technology”, and highlighted Affectiva in their article.

For me these were the highlights of 2014:


Affectiva has built the largest emotion data repository in the world. At the beginning of the year we had analyzed just over a million face videos. Just 11 months later we doubled that number. As of today, we have grown this to more than 2.3 million faces analyzed and over 7 billion emotion data points. This massive data allows us to not only continuously improve accuracy and scalability of our science and products, but also sheds insights into how emotions influence different aspects of our lives. By mining this data we can see for example what causes people to share content – videos with high Affdex Scores solicited high emotional engagement and are more likely to go viral.


We developed our own face tracker. This is the piece of our Affdex technology that finds the feature points, such as your eyes and lips, and tracks those across a video. By leveraging our massive data, we trained the new face tracker with faces from over 75 countries in a range of environmental conditions, ensuring high accuracy. We also built it to be cross-platform – on the web, Linux and mobile including Android and iOS – allowing our clients to operate Affdex where they prefer.


In 2014 we launched several new offerings. Affdex Discovery brings facial coding and emotion analytics to the qualitative research world. It helps the moderator of a focus group identify the emotion engagement of participants and drive the focus group based on our data. We also released Mobile SDKs for Android and iOS. We are making these available to select partners so they can integrate emotion analytics in their apps, both to optimize the user experience and to create new user interactions informed by real-time emotion data. ooVoo’s Flinch is a fun example of that. And, we announced the new Affdex Score and emotion engagement norms that enable our clients to compare the emotion engagement of an ad to that of other ads in their category. Leveraging these norms, we’ve started to research predictive analytics tying emotion responses to virality, sales effectiveness and other key performance metrics. We will talk more about that in the new year.


We continued to see huge success with our partners. I would like to give a shout out to a number of them. Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with Millward Brown where Affdex is included as a standard solution in Millward Brown’s Link copy testing solution, allowing clients like Kellogg’s to optimize their advertising. Seeing our Affdex technology being used in such a mainstream way, day in, day out, has been pretty exciting. Other successful partnerships include Schlesinger Associates, 20/20, TNS, LRW, IMI, Teads (formerly known as eBuzzing), Unruly, AddedValue, PS-B and InsightExpress. Just last week the Boston Globe announced our partnership with ooVoo to bring emotion analytics to their Intelligent Video platform.


I am also incredibly pleased with the new website that we launched this fall – I love the design and think it’s content rich. I am especially excited to ramp up the blog on our website, so stay tuned for many more posts in the future. In 2014 we have also become more active on social media to accelerate discussion about Emotion Analytics and Insights, and to generate more awareness for the work we do. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @Affectiva, like us on Facebook and join the conversation on LinkedIn.

On behalf of team Affectiva, I wish you all a good holiday season. On that note, with our partner TNS we did a study to compare the emotional engagement of the hugely popular Christmas ads in the UK. We just published the key findings here. Have a look, I am sure you will enjoy it.