Affectiva taps Smart Eye’s eye-tracking for new attention metric

Affectiva, a subsidiary of Smart Eye, has unveiled a new attention metric integrated into its cloud-based Emotion AI platform.

The new metric advances the field of viewer attention measurement, catering to brands, advertisers, entertainment companies, and market researchers. Powered by Smart Eye’s automotive-grade eye-tracking technology, it promises unparalleled accuracy and insights by analysing gaze and head position.

Affectiva says its Emotion AI technology is already employed by over 90 percent of the world’s largest advertisers—enabling these industry giants to gain insights into viewers’ emotional reactions and predict engagement with their content.

By scrutinising facial expressions, Affectiva’s technology is able to assess whether individuals respond as intended to the content.

Under the umbrella of Smart Eye, this amalgamation of Affectiva and Smart Eye’s innovative technologies provides deeper insights into viewer behaviour—addressing critical questions in the market research sector, particularly whether viewers genuinely engage with advertising campaigns that often require substantial investments.

Smart Eye has been a key player in the automotive industry for over two decades with its eye-tracking technology. It has significantly contributed to measuring driver attention, determining whether drivers are focused on the road or distracted. The firm’s technology is embedded in over a million vehicles worldwide, contributing significantly to road safety. 

Following Smart Eye’s acquisition of Affectiva, the two companies have combined their Emotion AI and eye-tracking technologies to offer a unified solution that comprehends viewer attention when consuming brand, advertising, and entertainment content.

Smart Eye and Affectiva leverage their extensive and diverse datasets – including 10,000 hours of automotive data and 14.5 million facial videos from 90 countries – to develop highly precise algorithms. The next iteration of this Emotion AI technology, featuring the upgraded attention metric, seamlessly integrates Affectiva’s facial expression technology with Smart Eye’s best-in-class eye tracking.

The calibration-less metric adapts to various cameras and devices, enabling clients to measure subtle attention signals like gazing away, speaking, and drowsiness. Moreover, it adeptly detects facial occlusion and visibility, providing a comprehensive breakdown of viewer behaviour for a deeper understanding of engagement.

Graham Page, Global Managing Director of Affectiva Media Analytics at Smart Eye, said:

“By merging Smart Eye’s eye-tracking expertise with our Emotion AI, we offer an exceptionally precise and holistic viewer attention measurement that transcends traditional metrics.

This innovative approach not only reveals where viewers are looking but also explores why they are looking there, capturing the full spectrum of viewer engagement, including emotional responses and cognitive processing.

This comprehensive understanding of viewer attention enables advertisers and content creators to make more informed decisions and refine their strategies for maximum impact.”

Affectiva’s pursuit of a calibration-less attention measurement for advertisements is gaining momentum. The company employs a comprehensive approach, using its expertise in gaze measurement to estimate attention to ads.

The introduction of this new attention metric is a big step forward in comprehending the dynamics of viewer attention and will have a profound impact on media effectiveness research.

(Photo by Ion Fet on Unsplash)

See also: Mozilla: Cars are ‘the worst product category’ for data collection

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  • Ryan Daws

    Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it’s geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (

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Tags: advertising, affectiva, emotion ai, eye-tracking, marketing, smart eye

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.