We have seen a significant rise in smart phone manufacturers pushing emojis to the limits (Apple’s Animojis, followed up by Samsungs AR Emojis, as well as stickers and GIFs just to name a few). Is this just a gimmick to keep brands relevant to the younger target audience? Or is there psychologically beneficial and sophisticated human emotive interaction and communication developing in front of our filtered faces?
Try to think about all of the times you have tried to break some brutal news over text or back-track a passive-aggressive remark with a poo emoji. It lightens the tone and keeps your conscience clear without you even having to be face-to-face with your victim.
We communicate too often now without being able to receive non-verbal micro expressions, as well as the fleeting facial signals we give off day-to-day with the muscles in our faces. Some micro expressions are so brief that they can occur in just 1/25th of a second.
This is where the use of AR and facial recognition in tech can fill this communication void. Prof Sophie Scott (British neuroscientist at UCL) states that Emojis enhance human interaction by putting ‘emotional, non-verbal information back in.’ So, although colourful, cartoonish and sometimes just plain daft, this progression of non-textual digital communication is actually becoming increasingly sophisticated from a psychological perspective. ‘We are putting the emotional, non-verbal information back in.’ Something not entirely possible through just text alone. If communication experts believe that static emojis are capable of so much subtle communication flair then mapping your real facial micro expressions and mannerisms through AR should be the next leap in digital comms.
Virtual, augmented and mixed experiences that exist between our physical and digital worlds will bring the humanity of the face-to-face conversation back into the evolution of our communication.
It will be interesting to see how future brands harness this evolution of communication into campaigns and how this changes how they interact with their audiences.