Menu
Clothing retailer Uniqlo uses brain waves to match customers with t-shirts

Clothing retailer Uniqlo uses brain waves to match customers with t-shirts

The experiment dips into the emerging field of neuromarketing

Japanese retailer, Uniqlo, is using a novel method to match t-shirts with potential buyers by analyzing their brain patterns.

It's a marketer's dream to get inside the brain of a consumer, and a growing field -- dubbed neuromarketing -- focuses on using neuroscience to make more appealing products.

On Wednesday at its flagship central Sydney store, Uniqlo debuted UMood, a system designed to match the right t-shirt to a person based on a brain-wave analysis.

Customers wear a headset designed by Dentsu Science Jam, a Japanese company that studies brain signal processing and how it can be used for other applications, including marketing. The headset is an electroencephalography (EEG) device.

uniqlo3 Jeremy Kirk

Tim den Braber, a group account director with the digital marketing agency Isobar Australia, affixes an EEG headset during a demonstration on Wednesday of Uniqlo's UMood, a system that suggests t-shirts to purchase based on a person's brain waves.

The most prominent application for EEG readers are in the medical field, but they're also being used for gaming and assisting the disabled.

After the headset is in place and is calibrated, customers are then shown a sequence of images on a large screen -- rippling waves, a dog, someone blowing confetti -- as the headset records brain waves 20 times a second.

The reading is then analyzed by a proprietary algorithm developed by Dentsu, said Phil Harris, a consumer neuroscientist who studies how brain science can be applied to marketing.

A single brain wave signal is sent, although Dentsu's algorithm splits it to determine five attributes: interest, like, stress, concentration and drowsiness, said Harris, who has lectured on neuromarketing at the University of Melbourne since 2008.

Uniqlo has a bewildering selection of t-shirts -- around 600. All of those shirts have been subjected to surveys that were used to determine a sort of average mood that people felt when looking at one.

Once the algorithm has determined the person's mood, the appropriate t-shirt is shown. Uniqlo's hope is obviously that people will choose to buy it.

"I felt like I was in a general green mood -- calm, collected," said Ben Law, a journalist and author who tried UMood as part of a demo. "Earlier in the day I was a bit more upbeat, so it came up as 'dandy,' but I feel that probably an adjective I could use for most of my life."

Is it a gimmick?

"It's a bit of fun," Harris said. "I'm not saying it's not accurate. It's about making the shopping experience fun, but I actually do believe this kind of tech has a lot of potential. We're getting more and more choice, and we're finding it harder to make a choice."

UMood will move to various Uniqlo stores in the Sydney metropolitan area and Melbourne over the next three weeks.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.‚Äč

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments