Apple recently announced, with the usual ceremony, the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Here’s how the new features will benefit the world of marketing.

Yep, it’s here. The iPhone 8 is available from September the 22nd alongside its pricier counterpart – the ominously named iPhone X.  The iPhone 8 is essentially an iPhone 7  – only it has a wireless charger and is made entirely of glass, which sounds like a recipe for disaster for us clumsy designers.

The iPhone X is pretty much the same, only there’s no home button, there’s more glass. And it’s frame is reinforced steel – all of which adds up to make the iPhone X sound like something from a later Terminator movie. Or, when you consider Apple has tried to make Siri more lifelike, like something from our blog on artificial intelligence.

The stuff we’re really interested in is the facial recognition technology. The new iPhone’s TruDepth camera projects 30,000 dots onto its users face, creating a map of said visage. The new tech has instantly been implemented as a security measure, meaning you’ll have to get all Hannibal Lecter if you want to read something on your significant other’s phone.


From a creative marketing perspective, the “Animoji” feature is one of the more interesting parts of facial recognition. The muscles in your face, tracked by the iPhone, correspond to the emotions of virtual characters. This was highlighted in Apple’s launch event by SVP of Software Craig Federighi turning his own face into a pile of poo. We’ve truly reached the pinnacle of technological sophistication.

Joking aside, this advancement in technology is good news for creative innovators like us. At Arch, we’re constantly looking for new ways to improve our clients’ branding impact – and the more ways that we can engage with customers and, indeed, monitor their emotional data – the better.

Our first thought about facial recognition was: how to utilise it for customer engagement? How can we transplant our customer into the brand and let them control a part of it with their face? Which clients have a mascot or character their customers can become? This is the obvious route for facial recognition. The more useful, slightly more sinister idea behind the tech is how it will be used to measure emotional response.

What if, in the future, rather than liking a Facebook post you’ve scrolled past in app, your phone reads your emotional reaction and likes it for you. Or doesn’t. Maybe online ads will register your reaction, and give marketers genuine, first hand data on how people feel when they see them. These notions might be a bit farfetched – after all, most people scroll through the phones with emotionless impassivity, so maybe the measuring of this lack of emotions would yield weak results. Only time will tell.

Whatever the eventual use, facial recognition is potentially one of the key tools of tomorrows designers and marketers. Either that, or it’ll flounder and die like Google Glass.



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