Brain Researcher Launches 'In-Home' Panel, Will Measure Ads, Media, Etc.

EmSense, a leading player in the burgeoning field of so-called "neuro metrics" - neuroscience-based systems that utilize biometrics to measure how consumes feel and think about media and advertising - this morning unveiled what it claimed is the first "in-home" panel utilizing biometric technology.

The panel equips a sample of consumers with EmSense's EmBand, an unobtrusive device capable of measuring the positive and negative emotional responses and cognitive engagement of people who wear it.

EmSense chief Keith Winter said the panel will be used to measure a variety of marketing communications including advertising, packaging, creative concept and consumer shopping experiences.

EmSense touted the in-home panel as a breakthrough because it also comes at a time when much of Madison Avenue's marketing research is shifting to online research panels, which some marketing researchers believe has representation issues.

EmSense said the in-home panelists will be equipped with the EmBand wireless headset, as well as a wireless receiver that will be connected to their household computers, which they will use to connect to a special EmSense Web site that will be used to test specific media and marketing communications. EmSense did not disclose how it will compensate households for participating in the panel.

EmSense said the in-home panel initially will have more than 2,000 households, which will expand to more than 25,000 by the end of 2011, and ultimately to more than 100,000 in the future.

The San Francisco-based neuro metrics firm works with a variety of industry marketing researchers, including Dynamic Logic, GfK, Millward Brown, and SymphonyIRI Group. Interestingly, it was one of two major firms in the field - the other being Nielsen-backed NeuroFocus - that declined to participate in the Advertising Research Foundation's recent "NeuroStandards" initiative.

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