Mood-Sensing Promotional Products: What Will They Think of Next?

Leopard PrintReading Acree’s blog yesterday did make me a bit nostalgic about college life. My sadness did not last long, however, as a late afternoon brainstorming session with my coworkers left me giddy with excitement about all of the creative ideas that we hope to bring to fruition. Today, as I write this blog, I am slightly overwhelmed by the blank document on my computer screen, but I am hopeful that after jotting down my thoughts and organizing them in a logical progression, anyone who stumbles upon this post will be left feeling satisfied and intrigued.

The sheer number of emotions that we experience on an hourly, and even minute-by-minute, basis is mind-boggling. One of the downright coolest websites I have seen in a long time (other than Pinnacle Promotions, of course!) is Trendhunter.com, recommended to me by Pinnacle’s Relationship Manager, Natasha. Trend Hunter garners over 9 million monthly views and claims to be “the world’s largest, most popular trend community”. With over 61,000 posted trends, this site is an incredible resource for anyone interested in innovative gadgets, concepts, and campaigns.

But enough about Trend Hunter and onto the real inspiration behind today’s ramblings. My first paragraph with distinctive feelings bolded and underlined relates to a Trend Hunter slideshow called “34 Emotion-Based Innovations.” While I am not sure whether inventions like the TouchMan cellphone, which allows for visual sharing of emotions during phone conversations, will be met with widespread acceptance, there are some products on the list that may take the world by storm.

The LadyBag, designed by Canadian researchers, uses RFID technology to detect the contents of the purse- if it detects an absence of a certain item, a visual icon representing the missing item appears on the external LED display. When every RFID-tagged item specified by the user is detected, a smiley face graphic shows up on the outside display. The LadyBag also determines the user’s emotional state via physical sensors, and visually depicts the emotions on the outside display as well. I’m not sure how I feel about literally wearing my emotions, but the RFID detection technology would be useful, to say the least!

The mood pen, created by electronics powerhouse Philips, features sensors in its shaft to monitor the user’s heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and pressure. The inks and shape of the writing tip adapt to the emotions detected, so written words will appear different depending on whether the writer is happy or sad. The emotion-sensing technology could be turned off if the user decides not to put his or her feelings on display. My question is, if users are going to turn off that special feature, why wouldn’t they just opt for regular promotional pens?

The general public may not be ready for some of these innovations just yet, but it is fascinating to think about how emotion-detecting technology will affect communication channels and marketing. Someday in the future, will marketers be able to capture and analyze consumers’ emotional reactions to billboards, television commercials, and point of purchase displays? The examples in the slideshow seem to point to “yes,” but it will be exciting to observe the developments as they infiltrate mainstream outlets.
Dana
Team Lead – Social Media
view my bio!

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