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Smart Eye Acquires iMotions to Unlock Potential for Multi-Modal, Human Behavioral Research

By GOTHENBURG, Sweden & COPENHAGEN, Denmark
industry news

iMotions to continue to be independently run, while the combined companies bring together complementary expertise in sensing technologies and biosensor software to create the first powerhouse for analyzing emotional, cognitive, and behavioral data, delivering holistic human insights. 

GOTHENBURG, Sweden & COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Today, Smart Eye and iMotions announced they have entered into an agreement in which Smart Eye will acquire iMotions for USD 46.6 million (SEK 400 million).

As the global leader in Human Insight AI, Smart Eye will couple its advanced eye tracking and emotion AI technologies with iMotions’ innovative, multiple-sensor data collection and analytics software to create the first powerhouse in human behavioral research and analysis. Together they will provide an end-to-end, multi-modal approach to analyzing complex human behaviors and delivering holistic human insights.

iMotions, which will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Smart Eye Group and will continue to be independently run by CEO Peter Hartzbech under the terms of the agreement, has a history of profitable, high growth. The company has more than 15 years of experience developing and delivering a solution that uniquely and in real-time integrates data streams from more than 50 biosensors, as well as other explicit measures, into a single research platform that provides a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of human behaviors. With iMotions, research teams are able to expand beyond single technology analysis and streamline data from multiple, both implicit and explicit, measures such as eye-tracking, facial expression analysis, sweat gland activity, brain activity, heart rate, field surveys, focus groups, and more.

The acquisition will accelerate iMotions’ product innovation, particularly in the areas of remote and mobile data collection and analysis, by providing access to capital and expertise in machine learning and data acquisition and annotation. Integrating iMotions’ Behavioral Research Suite will expand multi-modal data and synchronized analytics, helping to accelerate Smart Eye’s leadership in the rapidly emerging field of Human Insight AI in automotive but also in new markets. Together, they will increasingly help customers study the complexity of human behavior in real-world and challenging environments.

“The next decade is going to see an amazing expansion of human behavioral research using multi-modal approaches. The addition of iMotions and its multi-sensor integration software promises to unlock increased value for Smart Eye’s current customers, particularly in the automotive industry, while opening the door to others,” said Martin Krantz, Founder, and CEO of Smart Eye. “The future is multi-modal with technological advances likely to make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective to understand what’s driving human behavior and decision making. With Motions, we’re adding the world’s leading insights and analysis software to our leading eye tracking and facial expression analysis technologies.”

This follows Smart Eye’s recent acquisition of Affectiva, a move designed to solidify the company’s stronghold on, and fuel growth of, the rapidly developing automotive Interior Sensing market. The current acquisition is a synergistic approach that has been in the making for a long time, as Smart Eye, iMotions, and Affectiva have a long history of partnering together.

“Smart Eye and iMotions have shared visions for eye-tracking and multi-modal research for many years,” said Peter Hartzbech, Founder and CEO of iMotions. “In Smart Eye we have the ideal partner to further invest in the vision to accelerate human behavior insights, driving transformation that will fuel our customers’ successes across commercial industries, as well as for academic researchers. Together, we will work on long-term strategies that will benefit our partners and open the best opportunities for our employees. It’s going to be exciting to collaborate closer based on our shared values and culture.”

The acquisition significantly expands Smart Eye’s global footprint, as iMotions has more than 1,300 worldwide customers across academia and various industries, including 55 of the World’s Top 100 universities (QS World University Rankings). For iMotions, it provides an entry point into Asia-Pacific markets.

With Affectiva and iMotions both having a Boston base, the acquisition further cements Smart Eye’s presence and opportunity in a market rich with technology innovation and top-flight educational and research institutions. Smart Eye is headquartered in Gothenburg (Sweden), with additional offices in Detroit (US), Tokyo (Japan), Chongqing (China), Hildesheim (Germany). iMotions is headquartered in Copenhagen (Denmark), with additional offices in Berlin (Germany) and Singapore.