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Exploring emotion further

Dr Gary McKeown will be collaborating with Sensum as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership which is jointly funded by the ESRC and Invest NI.

Sensum have developed a combined software and hardware platform to assess feelings and emotions using multiple biometric sensors and information sources. They use these systems to assist the understanding of engagement and attention in a range of market places, from advertising, to film making and creative storytelling.

When assessing feelings and emotions, information is best captured through use of continuous representations rather than using categories. We can talk in terms of being angry, happy or sad but we tend to be more or less angry, happy or sad–it is not an all or nothing phenomena. Importantly "more or less" feelings vary over time and often the changes are the most interesting and valuable aspect. Telling when important moments have occurred in this kind of data can be challenging and the KTP seeks to embed knowledge and techniques that have been developed in the School of Psychology at QUB into Sensum’s platform in ways that will enhance their ability to provide informative accounts of how people engage with the various types of content they address.

According to Gary McKeown, “this provides a great opportunity to take our years of research experience and the techniques we have developed in working with the continuous representation of emotion in spontaneous and natural environments and embed them within Sensum’s systems to enhance both their work and to feedback into our research. It is an exciting opportunity for academic-commercial collaboration and great to see knowledge generated through our research becoming usefully integrated into exisiting systems that benefit both the company and the university."

To learn more about this KTP, please contact Dr Gary McKeown.