Apple has acquired artificial intelligence (AI) startup Emotient, which analyses people’s emotions through facial expressions.
San Diego-based Emotient offers insights in the form of three key performance indicators (KPIs) that include attention, engagement and sentiment.
The company’s cloud-based services offer direct measurement of a customer’s unfiltered emotional response to ads, content, products and customer service or sales interactions.
Emotient, which employs less than 50 people, had earlier raised about $8m from investors including Intel Capital.
There is no conformation on what Apple plans to do with Emotient purchase.
Last year, Emotient released a Google Glass app that can tell users what other people are feeling based on their facial expressions.
An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition to the Wall Street Journal as saying: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
Apple is planning to challenge Google in the smartphone features segment by ramping up its hiring of AI experts from PhD programmes.