From Peter Hartzbech: iMotions joins Smart Eye

iMotions will continue to be independently run, while partnering as part of Smart Eye Group to create the first powerhouse for delivering unparalleled, holistic insights into human behavior

Today is a very exciting day for iMotions. We announced we will be joining forces with Smart Eye, the global leader in Human Insight AI and recent acquisition of Emotion AI pioneer Affectiva — a move that will help realize and unlock the potential for multi-modal, human behavioral research.

Martin & Pete

This is a major milestone not only for myself and the iMotions team, but everyone involved — Smart Eye, Affectiva, all of our customers, employees, partners, and the research industry overall. iMotions isn’t just a company I founded. It’s a passion of mine, something grounded in a deeply personal experience and the desire to make the world a better place. I had a unique vision for the way we could study human behavior, make it simpler, faster, more accessible and insightful. And the move to join Smart Eye is the next chapter in fulfilling that vision and our growth. It’s a move that I am 110% confident will revolutionize the way human behavior is studied – and one that I am excited to be making with my professional colleagues and personal friends, Martin Krantz and Rana el Kaliouby.

The next step on the iMotions journey

Together, we will work to power the future of human behavioral research, but iMotions will also continue to be a standalone company, with the capital to help us grow and the same hardware-agnostic, advisory approach we’ve always taken with our customers.

You may wonder, what does this all mean? Here are some of its key impacts:

  1. Scale growth: While some may have thought we were crazy (especially at the beginning), we’ve always known that the future of human behavioral research lies with a multi-modal approach – with the best technologies powered by a connective software tissue. With Smart Eye’s and Affectiva’s strength in eye tracking and facial expression analysis, we’re creating a true, collaborative powerhouse that can deliver unparalleled, holistic human insight and fuel the growth of our industry. We will have access to resources that will allow us to innovate and scale faster than we ever have, delivering even greater success for our customers. This includes AI and machine learning and truly integrated eye tracking. It also means direct access into the hundreds of Smart Eye customers who are seeking a first-class software solution for their behavioral research.
  2. Accelerate product innovation: Similarly, this trifecta will accelerate iMotions’ product innovation, particularly in the areas of remote and mobile data collection and analysis, by providing access to capital and expertise in machine learning and data acquisition and annotation. Integrating iMotions’ Behavioral Research Suite will expand multi-modal data and synchronized analytics, helping to accelerate Smart Eye’s leadership in the rapidly emerging field of Human Insights AI in Automotive but also in new markets. Together, we will increasingly help customers study the complexity of human behavior in real world and challenging environments.
  3. Complementary approaches: In life there’s some things that just make sense – this is one of them: the merging of the industry’s leading hardware and software entities to create the first ever end-to-end, multi-modal approach that analyzes and delivers human insights. Fusing these complementary approaches will create methodologies and provide customers with the tools they need today, while innovating those they will need tomorrow. iMotions will continue to counsel its commercial and academic clients on the best hardware agnostic approaches to their research needs, while providing a software platform that can connect research across their organization.
  4. Shared vision: While this joining of forces solidifies our collaboration with Smart Eye and Affectiva, it’s a synergistic approach that has been a long time in the making – in part because of our shared vision for the future of human behavioral research. Martin, Rana and I each believe the future is tied neither to a single technology platform, nor to hardware or software, but rather the integration of the best sensing technologies and multiple modalities – eye tracking, facial coding, EEG, ECG, EMG, galvanic skin response and heart rate – all synchronized into the underlying software that serves as the connective tissue that can fuel deeper insights for every situation, combining multiple sensing data streams into one data analytics software powering holistic human insight.
  5. Increase global footprint: I’ve always dreamed of having a huge impact on the world – building global companies that create meaningful change and save lives. It’s what I’ve envisioned for iMotions all along, and I fully believe this move will continue to make that a reality for both iMotions and Smart Eye, where the two can utilize each other’s respective presences in APAC and North America to grow regionally and globally.
  6. Expand multi-modal to new verticals: In the behavioral research industry, a multi-modal approach is becoming “table stakes.” Without it, you fail to get the most accurate or comprehensive insights possible which can put authority or opportunity at risk. In joining forces with Smart Eye, our goal is to introduce and expand multi-modal into every research vertical, particularly the automotive sector where Smart Eye – and Affectiva – currently lead the way in Interior Sensing and can continue to do so with the integration of iMotions’ Behavioral Research Suite for better insights.

I couldn’t be more excited for this next step. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you — our incredible partners, employees, customers and supporters. So, in closing, I want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who has supported and believed in iMotions since the beginning and stuck with us as we forged a new path of human behavioral research.

This isn’t the end, only the beginning, and we look forward to continuing to create immense change with you #StayTuned and #KeepHammering

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