emotion-detection-softwareThere used to be a hard and fast line between consumer tech and enterprise tech, but the boundary has become increasingly blurred. The most striking examples, of course, were smart phones and smart tablets.

I still remember CIOs telling me they would never allow tablets on their networks. But times change, and savvy CIOs don’t wait to get blindsided by popular technologies.

Intuit, the innovative software company that makes Turbo Tax, QuickBooks, ProConnect and Mint, recently showcased experimental software that will “read” your emotional state while you’re using your laptop.

For example, let’s say you’re working on your tax returns and suddenly your expression changes drastically. The emotion detection software would automatically recognize the change in your expression and the system might offer you some form of real-time assistance, tailored and personalized for your situation.

Emotion detection software is still in its exploratory stages, but the concept is certainly interesting. Intuit now serves 42 million customers in its ecosystem. With emotion detection technology, Intuit could theoretically scale an extremely personalized, unique experience for each of those customers.

I can easily see how similar kinds of software would be useful for IT helpdesks. Instead of waiting for someone with a tech problem to call IT, the software would alert the helpdesk when it picks up signs of emotional distress such as surprise, fear, or anger.

From my perspective, this is another instance in which consumer tech will cross the boundary and quickly become part of the enterprise tech portfolio. It’s only a matter of time before “emotionally aware” software evolves from exploratory to mainstream. My advice for CIOs is to start thinking now about integrating emotion detection capabilities into your enterprise systems.

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