Once a futuristic dream, smart domestic appliances are now part of our everyday reality. With a number of new devices being introduced to the market every year, home appliance manufacturers tend to look for ways to stand out from the crowd and make customers aware of their core values. And what better way to send such message than providing consumers with an interactive and fun experience involving the brand?
Bonsaininja asked us to collaborate on a project which would emphasize the uniqueness of their client, Candy Group. As a result, we undertook to deliver software for operating a facial and emotion recognition screen which was showcased at IFA Berlin 2018.
Bonsaininja’s aim was to clearly communicate their client’s mission: providing households with innovative and bespoke solutions. To help the Italian studio achieve this goal, we brought to life an interactive facial recognition booth.
When approaching the brand’s stand, the visitors could interact with the screen in order to determine their personality type and the matching Candy Group’s product. Once they stood in front of the screen, their face was scanned for age, gender, and 6 basic emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, fear, and disgust. Facial expressions allowed users to make choices: positive ones served to accept and negative ones to decline.
The first action they had to undertake was to make a couple of selfies and choose the perfect one by smiling at the screen. Then, the stand’s visitors were shown a set of pictures and asked to react to each of them. On the basis of their choices, a psychological profile of the user was created and correlated with a given home appliance. Once the process was over, the results was sent to the visitor via email and printed out as a postcard on the spot.
When approaching us, Bonsaininja already had the concept and its design in mind. Our job was to execute it by taking care of frontend and backend development. With only 6 weeks to deliver the final product, we went for Kanban methodology and worked in a release cycle based on a week-long stages. The hard deadline in sight influenced the technology choices that we made as well.
Our involvement in the project continued up to its presentation at the IFA in September 2018. During the trade show, one of our developers assisted the client in the software-related aspects of setting up and managing the performance of the stand. He was also responsible for adjusting the experience to the dynamically changing conditions such as the lighting.
Facial and emotional recognition is an interesting technology in its own right. However, it’s worth mentioning that the experience we created has turned out to be highly entertaining for the audience. In fact, even though IFA 2018 was overflowing with hi-tech, the software we developed has contributed to making Candy Group’s stand one of the hottest spots at the trade show.
Being aware of time constraints and the need for speeding up the development process, we chose visage|SDK™ as a basis for tracking and analyzing facial features and emotions in real time.
For the frontend part of this project, we decided on React.js which ensured high responsiveness and fast performance of the software. Additionally, using our own React boilerplate allowed us to speed up the process and make sure we meet the hard deadline.
As far as the administration panel was concerned, our choices were Node.js, Strapi, and MongoDB. These solutions enabled us to carry out the project quickly and to take into account our client’s top priorities resulting from the real-time nature of the experience: speed, efficiency, and reliability.