To a Tee: Uniqlo’s UMood Suggests Products by Reading Brain Waves

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Uniqlo UMood

Retailers spend lots of time and money analyzing Big Data trying to pinpoint exactly what a customer would like to purchase before the customer even knows such a product exists.

Uniqlo is now going one better with a new sales tool that helps match a consumer with a product based on what’s going on in a customer’s brain. Are customers ready for a personalized shopper that can read their minds?

The new UMood has rolled out in Sydney, Australia, and asks consumers to sit in a chair, put on a headset with a forehead sensor and watch a few seconds-long films of such things “a woman reading in a forest, a stormy day in the city, a man standing on top of a mountain, a kitten, a man swimming, a needle ticking, cherry blossoms and a man dancing,” reports Mashable. Based on five data points—interest, like, concentration, stress and drowsiness—that are measured while watching the films, the retailer then presents four potential T-shirts and measures the customer’s response. Soon enough, the winner is selected.

When Gizmodo observed UMood in action, most consumers were labeled as feeling “adventurous” but were not all offered the same four shirts of the 600 in the series. Australian comedian Ben Law was on hand to show UMood off, calling it a “Tinder for T-shirts.”

Uniqlo UMood

Tracy Lang, Uniqlo Australia’s marketing director, told Gizmodo that this wasn’t an attempt to collecting more customer data. “It’s not really about consumer research, by any means,” she said. UMood will travel to other stores in Australia and could travel internationally if it is received well.

Uniqlo UMood

“We know that consumers want lots of choice, but when we give them lots of choice people actually have trouble making decisions,” Phil Harris, a consumer neuroscientist at brand insight company Nuro and the University of Melbourne, told Mashable. “I see a tool that helps narrow the range of options … being really beneficial.”

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