Can Tech Remove the Terror of Choice?

Blog: Social Innovation

— Tom Woods 

Choice can be a daunting thing. Where we shop, what we watch, where we choose to eat:  all of it requires cognition and can, at times, be exhausting. Thankfully, technology is here to take all that stress away.

Consider Feed, a data analytics pilot running at Ceviche in London. You don’t order from a menu here. Instead you log in to the restaurant’s app and let the magic happen. You are served images, you start tapping on them, thereby indicating your emotive state.

Your meal is then matched to your current mood, and sent to your table in a delicious marriage of technology and the human state.

The project, unveiled at Digital Shoreditch this week, focused primarily on the implications this has for the food industry. But it made me think a lot wider than that.

Personally, when I arrive home and put on the TV, about 10 minutes of channel hopping ensue. Turn on the ‘Shuffle’ on my mp3 player and I may never get through a full song.

I’d much rather have a programme or track chosen for me, based on where I am, what I’ve been doing and what my current mood is. No more faffing around choosing stuff.

But how does a machine determine your mood? We may be a little way off this. In the case of Ceviche, it’s based on which pictures particularly appeal to you.

CrowdEmotion takes things a step further, and is developing a new API that scans your face and makes intelligent links between expressions and emotions.

This, to me, is a development well worth paying attention to. For brands, knowing how your customer is actually feeling while interacting with your brand is a priceless indicator of success or failure.

For people like me, it means the terror of choice becomes a thing of the past.

Write us your thoughts or questions.

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