San Francisco-based creative agency, Heat, came up with an interesting application – a Facebook Messenger chatbot that reacts to users’ emotions. Stijn Jansen, digital art director at Heat, said the idea for the chatbot began about a couple of months back when about 400 young people were competing, networking and attending classes in connection with Cannes.
Jansen recalled his time at this school and wanted to do something to make it more interesting for the attending students. He said, “I think exactly 10 years ago I was an attendee of that school as well and it’s a very overwhelming week. Their cubicles are kind of sad-looking, very white—not the most inspiring space to brainstorm. So, we wanted to be really close to them where they could hang out, escape from all the white light.”
Jansen calls his innovation Heatbeat, which has a 42” by 42” LED matrix panel fitted with more than 1,700 lights where each pixel contains three LED lights making up the display of the chatbot. A user must type a code into Facebook Messenger to verify that he is inside the Cannes installation before starting interaction with Heatbot. The technology that connects the panel to Facebook Messenger is what makes this chatbot interesting as it offers scope for other applications. Heatbot first asks a few questions to the user about how he is feeling. On the backend, Heatbot covers eight basic emotions that are connected to 1,000 responses.
Depending on the answers it gives to the users, Heatbot then produces on the LED display, a series of GIFs and photos that relate to the emotion and are based on color theory. For happy users, it may show goofy GIFs while for those who are sad; it will show GIFs of hugs and smiles. “Heatbot plays a sequence of GIFs for you that make you feel a certain way, “If you’re feeling good, it wants to celebrate with you. If you’re feeling tired, sad, lonely or uninspired, then it will create content that helps you get over that hump,” Jansen said.