AI lets Smiley terminals check age and gender

  • February 13, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

AI-powered facial analysis software has been added to HappyOrNot’s customer feedback terminals so businesses can unlock demographic information and combine it with in-moment feedback data.

The Finnish company says this is its most advanced feedback product: an updated version of its Smiley Touch terminal already present in airports and retail spaces around the world.

Accumulating over a billion feedback responses since its launch, HappyOrNot’s range of smiley-faced terminals serve over 4000 brands in 135 countries including Amazon, Google, Aramark and Miami Airport.

Upgrading its popular Smiley Touch product, the terminal uses a built-in camera and AI software to unlock and connect in-moment anonymous feedback data with respondents demographic information. The demographic analysis works by converting and mapping facial features into numerous data points to form a vector. The anonymised vector is then analysed by AI to estimate the feedback provider’s age and gender, with up to a 95% accuracy rate.

Unlike facial recognition tools, HappyOrNot’s updated Smiley Touch terminal does not identify the individual, instead its only purpose is to analyse a silhouetted vector, which is designed to hide the respondent’s identity.

The product aims to help businesses make better informed decisions that result in positive operational impact. Already adopted by European retail chain XXL Sport & Villmark and Canadian pharmacy chain MacQuarries, the upgraded terminals provide a faster way for businesses to gather detailed information and, crucially, better understand how to meet the unique needs of their target audiences.

Gathering encrypted and anonymous data from the terminals, businesses can also gain a better understanding of the satisfaction levels for specific user groups. The layering of demographics analytics on top of real-time feedback data supports them to make and measure operational changes that target and add value to specific groups of customers.

“We know that when it comes to customer loyalty, all it takes is one good or bad experience,” said Miika Mäkitalo, CEO of HappyOrNot. “Yet, providing a personalised service can be challenging when you have customers ranging from 16 to 80. Adding demographics data will allow businesses to better understand their target markets through the feedback provided by their customers. Our priority has always been to make customer feedback more digestible, and this latest version will go a long way in providing another layer of context for businesses. This new capability is brilliant for our customers, and I’m very pleased that we are the first in the market to deliver this innovation.”

To improve accuracy, businesses can also turn on the camera operated feedback guard that recognises and filters out multiple feedback responses from the same individual in a short period of time. On track to reach two billion feedback responses by 2024, the upgraded terminals will join other marquee products such as web-based integration Smiley Digital and touchless URL and QR-code option Smiley Link.

“By combining demographic data with customer satisfaction data, retailers can create a more detailed and nuanced picture of their customers and use this information to make informed business decisions,” said Kenneth Røsseth-Sørensen, business development officer at XXL Group. “For example, a retailer might use these data to identify specific customer segments that are particularly satisfied or dissatisfied with their products or services, and tailor their marketing and customer service strategies accordingly. This can help retailers improve customer loyalty and retention, and ultimately drive sales and revenue.”

Creator of the globally recognised four Smileys, HappyOrNot helps companies identify and optimise experiences across all touchpoints through relevant, in-moment feedback data. With the ability to track, validate and compare ongoing performance, companies are empowered to improve experiences continuously and drive operational success.

Founded in 2009, HappyOrNot serves 4000 brands across 135 countries, such as Elkjøp, Levi’s Stadium and London Heathrow Airport, and has collected and reported on over 1.5 billion feedback responses. Headquartered in Finland, HappyOrNot also has offices in the USA and around the globe, and a reseller network of over 100 companies.