published on May 12, 2017 - 11:38 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno’s mega tech company FocusVision, known for it’s quantitative and qualitative market research platform, is aiming to change focus group communication with its new product, FV360 Live, which utilizes a 360-degree camera to capture focus group discussions.

As opposed to traditional focus groups where the researcher stands behind a two-way mirror and watches the back of people’s heads, the new technology allows the researcher to see people’s faces and reactions close up from a TV monitor in the back room or from a streaming device anywhere in the world.

FocusVision CEO Jamin Brazil said there has been an increase in focus groups over the last few years, with companies spending $18 to $20 billion collectively on research to find out what products and services best suit their current and desired customer base.

Traditionally, Brazil said, focus groups tend to be dry but adding a 360-degree video camera in the middle of the conversation makes for more compelling video and provides an avenue for company researchers to connect with their customers.

“The camera doesn’t just give a 360-degree view of the group, but it can tune in to the speaker and spin to face them and it quietly — like an iPhone camera — zooms in on the person speaking and it’s all automated,” Brazil said. “From a remote person’s perspective, being able to see faces in real time is a much more engaging experience.”

More than just a specialized video camera, the advanced technology even takes the focus group a step further in creating a highlight reel that zeros in on the most emotional moments using facial recognition to systematically identify the outliers of the conversation.

“It can take 30 hours of focus group footage and consolidate it into a two to three minute video snippet that shows the key customer moments,” Brazil said. “That shortcut to insight is important as organizations spend a lot of time on this research.”

FocusVision currently works with 1,600 companies globally and hopes to have FV360 Live at 200 locations by the end of the year.

“We’re expecting revenue to increase significantly over the next year, as people begin to adopt this new technology,” Alisa Manjarrez, FocusVision’s vice president of marketing, said.

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