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XPRESS ENGINE - The Future of Affective Market Research

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - XPRESS (XPRESS ENGINE - The Future of Affective Market Research)

Reporting period: 2015-08-01 to 2015-10-31

The main objective of Xpress project is to provide a face emotion analysis technology to be used in market research, retail, medicine, on-line training courses, and television and movie industry.
Our detailed feasibility study covered a number of task.

Task 1: In-depth assessment of market
T.1.1. In-depth study of market segmentation using test users of our platform and questionnaires for new target segments with focus on market research providers. This tasks may include subcontracting a third party for independent market assessment: Through desk research and in-depth interviews with potential customers we assessed the market size and potential for Xpress Engine technology deployment in identified segments.
Task 2: Technological feasibility study
T.2.1. Analysis of potential to further improve the algorithms and processing: we performed technical evaluation regarding: scene lighting estimation and de-lighting algorithms, possibility for multiple face recognition, webcam based eye tracker, automatic gender recognition, automatic age calculation based on 4 age category (child, youth, adult, senior), automatic ethnic recognition in 3 categories (Europid, Congoid, Mongoloid), face modelling - adjusting and testing of the model based on tens of controls points on a face, eye tracking, online surveys, evaluation of customer emotions regarding products/services.

T2.2. Preparing a detailed technical implementation plan with milestones: detailed technical work plan to be executed in SME Instrument Phase 2 was elaborated.

T2.3. Additional validation campaigns: we conducted validation of ELLEN platform on more than 1000 respondents and with our potential customers involvement. The campaign proved Express Engine effectiveness and efficiency.

Task 3. Business model simulations

T 3.1. Planning market replication and pre-sales activities to prepare wide market deployment of the product will be conducted. Full cost analysis for the production and deployment of Xpress Engine: Together with the market analysis and technological feasibility study we validated our business model and verified pricing strategy for identified market segments. Pre-sales activities for SMEI Phase 2 were planned.

Task 4. Assessment of risk factors
T.4.1. Technological and business risks to be considered and corresponding contingency plans: we identified a range of technological and business risks. Possibility of each risk occurrence and proper contingency and mitigation plans were considered.
Task 5. Intellectual property (IP) protection
T.5.1. This task will be subcontracted to specialized IP lawyer to improve our strategy to protect IPR worldwide and to evaluate a potential: By means of external legal attorney we have prepared IPR protection strategy and we have analyzed data protection, trademark protection and copyrights compliance issues.
Task 6. Customer validation & partner selection
T6.1. In this task the key markets for our application will identified along with customer validation and research for ideal partners for Phase 2 and commercial activities: we identified ideal industrial partners (i.a. market research agencies) and a partner for Phase 2 demonstration and validation of platform on a group of 5000 people and commercial activities. Letter of intents are attached in Feasibility Study.
Phase 1 execution proved that Xpress Engine project is feasible and has a great commercial value. Therefore we will apply for the SME Instrument Phase 2 grant, to continue development of our technology and reach TRL9. Our final product, ELLEN platform, based on Xpress Engine technology implementation in European countries and worldwide will allow to increase the effectiveness of market research and introduce a new quality to face emotion recognition market.
ELLEN platform