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Affectiva, a technology start-up company based in Waltham, Mass., will start offering a face-reading software to mobile developers starting in mid-January.

Mobile app developers will be able to use the software to tell whether you’re enjoying a particular advertisement, or reacting negatively to the contents of a streaming video, according to a report of the technology today in the NY Times. The software is based on over two and a half years of accumulating and classifying about 1.5 billion emotional reactions by people in webcams used by the company. Those people gave the company permission to use their reactions as they watched streaming video, according to Rana el-Kaliouby, the company’s co-founder and chief science officer.

When the company releases the API for developers to use in mid-January, it will apparently still require that people give their consent to be filmed, and Affectiva will approve and control all of the apps that use its algorithms, Kaliouby told the Times. It will be used for advertising, as well as education, healthcare and gaming, the company told VentureBeat separately.

Last year, we reported the company had taken $12 million in a third round of investment for its emotion measurement technology, which helps brands and businesses gain insight about their consumers.

The company’s flagship product is Affdex, its automated facial coding platform. Earlier this year, the company phased out Q Sensor, a wearable biometic sensor.

The company has raised a total of $19.7 million in venture capital from Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, WPP, Myrian Capital, and the Peder Wallenberg Charitable Trust.

Competitors include, Emotient, RealEyesit.


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