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Uniqlo Figures You Out with a T-shirt

Over the recent years, more and more wearable technologies are trying to detect our mood to make technology an integral part of the body. Retailers, on the other hand, bring neuroscience into part of the in-store shopping experience. In Sydney, Uniqlo features an installation called UMood in its retail space, which accesses customers’ current mood through neuroscience technology.

UMood is a brainwave-reading device that suggests ideal T-shirts based on your mood. Uniqlo seems to finally realize that although people like to have lots of choices, they can be overwhelmed by having too many of them. With UMood, Uniqlo offers a tool to help customers narrow the range of options, which ultimately enables a more pleasant shopping experience.

To experience UMood, customers wear a headset that measures their brainwaves, while sitting in front of a large screen. On the big screen appear screensaver-esque images, such as people lying in hammocks, storm clouds and dogs. The device accesses people’s reactions to the images, based on the five factors—drowsiness, concentration, interest, like and stress.

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According to customers’ neurological reactions, UMood’s algorithm matches four T-shirts that are the best fit, among 600 different designs available. The machine then evaluates people’s reactions to the final four to pick the perfect one.

The underlying algorithms are created by Japanese company Dentsu Science Jam, who explore how brain signal processing can be applied to marketing and other platforms. The brain-computer-interface (BCI) headset is made by the tech company NeuroSky.

Beside the UMood, Uniqlo also had Dr. Phil Harris, a consumer neuroscientist at University of Melbourne, in the store to explain the mechanism. He has worked with Uniqlo to launch the technology and said that the campaign reflected a growing trend for brands to turn to neuroscience technology in order to acquire an edge with consumers.

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For people outside Sydney, an online UMood experience is available for you to get some tangible ideas. It is in the form of a quiz with 11 questions which help you find the right shirt for your mood. Some of the questions are “You have a blank canvas. What do you paint?” “Your time machine’s back in action! Where should we go?” After answering all the questions by selecting images, it tells me that “you’re as cool as a cucumber” and provides four T-shirt recommendations.

Although it is unlikely that Uniqlo’s suggestions would be accurate all the time, it shows how interaction design can be creatively integrated into the retail space for a better customer experience.

For other retailers, the balance between more and less can always be something to reflect upon. Offering tons of choices doesn’t guarantee a good shopping experience, which can only be created by truly understanding customers’ emotional responses to a retail space.



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About NeuroSky

NeuroSky technologies enable the most insightful and easy-to-understand health and wellness biometrics for mobile solutions, wearable devices, and service providers. The company’s proprietary, market-leading biosensor technologies provide a foundation for analyzing biometric data in a way that’s never before been practical. NeuroSky-enabled solutions deliver unique insights into body and mind health and wellness that can motivate people to make better lifestyle choices.

NeuroSky Technology Fast 500 2014 & 2015 Recipient Awarded by Deloitte LLP

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