INTERVIEW WITH GAWAIN MORRISON, CEO & CO-FOUNDER SENSUM
Sensum CEO and Co-Founder, Gawain Morrison, explains some of the fundamental concepts behind Sensum’s software platform and outlines the benefits that biometric data capture offers to brands and consumers.
WHO ARE SENSUM?
Sensum are a Belfast based start-up specialising in biometrics, Neuromarketing and sensor-based data capture from wearable devices.
Currently Sensum’s software captures heart-rate and GSR (galvanic skin response) data and parses it to Sensum’s software. The Sensum app (designed for Android), provides a comprehensible graphical display to the user.
WHAT IS NEUROMARKETING?
Neuromarketing uses ideas derived from Plato’s chariot-drawn-by-two-horses philosophy. One horse represents human emotion (System 1) and the other human reasoning (System 2). In a market research context, the system aims to assess consumer decisions as relying on either System 1 or System 2. Neuromarketing blends aspects of neuroscience, economics and marketing.
Sensum’s approach grows out of the intersection between biometrics, Neuromarketing and wearable devices. Brands and companies are keen to know more about their customers emotional responses to their products and are using phyisological data to give them further insights.
While some will see this as an attempt by brands to create science from advertising, this is simply a technological extension of the work psychologists and marketers have done for decades. A great deal of money is being invested in this field — it is only set to grow in both size and importance.
WHERE IS THIS GOING?
Sensum’s current focus, is on helping brands to gain actionable insights into consumer behaviour. As wearable platforms develop, Sensum expects to see larger scale biometric data-capture. CEO Gawain Morrison sees opportunities for creating real-time systems that will interact directly with a variety of wearables and capture physiological data from audience interactions with many different types of media.
Devices that capture physiological metrics will continue to improve falling in cost and size and becoming more accessible. New types of sensors will be added to devices, and these will provide new ways to measure the effectiveness of media and consumer responses to it.
If wearable sensors prove able to uncover aspects of our unconscious thinking, they may also prove able to measure many other aspects of our lives. Eventually, they may provide us with entirely new data sets. It is likely that ownership and usage of this information will have both moral and immoral uses.
There are obvious ethical implications in developing such intensely personal measurement systems. Morrison points to social-media as one potential model for implementing these new technologies. He also notes that direct consumer consent, discussion and new legislative frameworks will be required, as we progress into what he calls ‘the physiological age.’